Author: Emyle Watkins
Published: 1:11 PM EDT April 23, 2020
Updated: 1:12 PM EDT April 23, 2020
NEW YORK — Governor Andrew Cuomo said in Thursday's press conference that protecting nursing homes is the state's number one priority right now.
The state, specifically the offices of the Department of Health and the Attorney General will be investigating nursing homes and are now requiring nursing homes to send reports of compliance thus far. Cuomo also wants the public to know what nursing homes should legally be doing right now.
Under current laws and regulations, nursing homes must:
- Require PPE as well as temperature checks for staff.
- Isolate COVID-19 residents in quarantine.
- Seperate staff, transfer COVID-19 residents within a facility, to a another long-term care facility, or to another non-certified location.
- Notify all residents and their family members within 24 hours if any residents test positive for COVID-19 or any resident suffers a COVID-19 related death.
- Readmit COVID-19 positive residents only if they have the ability to provide the adequate level of care under Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
The DOH and Attorney General will be investigating violations of the laws that apply to nursing homes.
The DOH will be inspecting facilities that have not complied with the DOH/CDC directives. Nursing homes must now report all initiatives and actions they have taken to comply with DOH and CDC directives so far. This includes separation policies, staffing policies, and their personal protective equipment (PPE) use.
If the department of health determines the nursing homes did not follow the guidance and directives from health officials, the nursing home will have to submit a new action plan. Nursing homes in non-compliance could also face fines of $10,000 per violation or even lose their operating license.
If you have a complaint about a nursing home in New York State, you can use the state's nursing home complaint form, or call the Nursing Home Complaint Hotline at 1-888-201-4563