UTICA, NY — Local officials are urging the state to put more protections in place for nursing home residents -- a population that is disproportionally affected by coronavirus.
There have been nearly 3,500 coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes across the state.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered nursing homes to readmit patients who may have tested positive for the virus and could put other residents at risk.
State Sen. Joe Griffo and Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon are asking for new measures that prohibit sending people diagnosed with the virus back to nursing homes where no one else is infected.
“The current policies are a recipe for disaster. Putting COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes will only serve to amplify issues related to staffing-shortages, decreased funding, lack of COVID-19 testing and equipment, and the inability of staff to prescribe potentially lifesaving, experimental drugs. Not only will residents of these facilities be unnecessarily put at risk, but so will the employees who work in them,” said Buttenschon.
The two are also pushing for staff to be more equipped to administer experimental drugs that could save the lives of nursing home residents.
“It is unconscionable not to save lives with these potentially lifesaving drugs and Governor Cuomo must expand their use to nursing home residents immediately,” said Griffo.
Nursing homes across the state are currently short-staffed due to budget cuts, leaving less resources to administer treatments to the residents.