Under fire, New York state officials launched an investigation into what is a nursing home obey security orders related to coronavirus in the middle the deaths of more than 3,500 residents, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.
The move follows widespread criticism of the handling of Cuomo’s nursing home amid a pandemic, including his admission that he did not know the facility should recognize infected people and claimed Wednesday that “it’s not our job” to give them security equipment.
“We will be investigating nursing homes now, to make sure they follow the rules,” Cuomo said at the Coronavirus daily briefing in Albany.
“This will be a joint investigation by the Department of Health and lawyers.”
Cuomo also said an additional 35 nursing home residents had died of COVID-19 since briefing on Wednesday.
Nursing homes, said Cuomo, “are paid to care for a resident and they must do so according to state rules.”
“And if they don’t, we will take appropriate action.”
Failure to comply with coronavirus-related directives from DOH and the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can result in fines of $ 10,000 per violation or revocation of a nursing home operating license.
The directives included taking temperature checks on all employees and providing them with adequate personal protection equipment, Cuomo said.
On Wednesday, the governor sparked outrage when he said that “it was not our job” to provide nursing homes with PPE on the grounds that they were private entities that were paid for their services.
Other requirements include telling residents and their relatives about coronavirus cases within 24 hours, quarantining the infected population and recognizing the person infected with the disease, “but only if they can provide the appropriate level of care,” Cuomo said.
The head of the state nursing home industry group, Stephen Hanse, blamed state revenue policies for bringing coronavirus to several homes – where the governor had admitted that it spread “like wildfire on dry grass.”
“This prevents them from protecting their residents and staff,” Hanse, CEO of the New York State Health Facilities Association, told The Post.
Relatives of nursing home residents also said that the facility had been thrown into chaos by a pandemic, with a woman saying about the helpless population, “It will be a miracle if they survive this.”
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