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Governor Cuomo: “Protecting Nursing Home Residents Is Our Top Priority” During New York’s COVID-19 Outbreak

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

Early in his COVID-19 press briefing today, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared, “Protecting nursing homes residents is our top priority” before outlining additional rules that skilled nursing facilities must follow during this pandemic which has claimed the lives of over 3,500 New York State nursing home residents.

The Governor explained how the nursing home system works in the state of New York:  “They are private facilities. They get paid to provide a service. They get regulated by the state government. There are certain rules and regulations that they must follow. And we put in additional rules and regulations on nursing homes in the midst of this crisis.”

By law and regulations, nursing homes MUST:

  • Require personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as temperature checks for all staff
  • Isolate COVID-19 residents in quarantine
  • Separate staff for COVID-19 patients; transfer COVID-19 residents within the facility to another long-term care facility, or to another non-certified location
  • Notify all residents and their families within 24 hours if any resident tests positive for COVID-19 or any resident suffers a coronavirus-related death
  • Readmit COVID-19 positive residents ONLY if they have the adequate ability to provide adequate level of care under guidance by The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Those are the rules,” he said. “They get paid to take care of a resident. And they have to do it in accordance with state rules and if they don’t, we will take appropriate action.”

The Governor also announced that The New York State Department of Health is partnering with Attorney General Letitia James to commence investigations of nursing homes to ensure all those policies are in place and being followed.

“If they’re not being followed, they can be subjected to a fine or they can lose their license. It’s that simple.”

It was noted that if the NYSDOH determines that a facility failed to comply with directives and guidance, NYSDOH will immediately require the facility to submit an action plan. Facilities could also be fined $10,000 per violation or potentially lose their license.

John Dalli, a partner in law firm Dalli & Marino, LLP, leaders in protecting the rights of the elderly in New York, agrees that it’s imperative for nursing homes to follow these regulations. In addition, the New York State Public Health Law requires nursing homes to keep residents safe and to provide the care necessary.

“The most vulnerable people in this pandemic have sadly proven to be elderly residents in nursing homes,” says Dalli. “If you have a parent or loved one in a facility, make daily contact not only with them, but also with any facility staff member to ensure that these rules are being met.”


Contact Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Dalli & Marino

John Dalli, Salvatore Marino, and Jeanne RamassoSince 1996, Dalli & Marino has helped families recover millions of dollars in cases of neglect at nursing homes or other elder care facilities. Our team serves Suffolk and Nassau Counties (Long Island), Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester County. You can call our office today at 1-888-465-8790 [Toll-Free] or complete the CASE EVALUATION FORM on our Contact Page.