Nursing Home Changes Help Protect Seniors

Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson (D-104) is applauding Governor Cuomo and the Department of Health (DOH) for new changes to the implementation of the DOH’s March 25th directive stating that nursing homes cannot deny the admission of residents solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. The Governor announced that those nursing homes who are unable to comply with the rules for proper treatment of COVID-19 patients can inform the Department of Health which will make arrangements to have another facility take the patient.

Jacobson said, “I am hopeful that the changes announced today will protect the thousands of vulnerable seniors who live in nursing homes across New York State. More than a month ago, the State closed nursing homes to outside visitors in an effort to reduce exposure, so I was shocked to learn that the Department of Health had directed nursing homes to admit residents who had tested positive for COVID-19.”

Last week, Jacobson wrote to Department of Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, urging him to rescind the directive. Today, Governor Cuomo and Dr. Zucker announced that nursing homes that did not have either adequate facilities to separate the infected patients or sufficient staff to care for COVID-19 residents without endangering other residents would not be forced to accept them.

Jacobson said, “We are all too aware of the devastation COVID-19 can wreak in a nursing home. I thank the Governor and Dr. Zucker for their decision to make these changes to further protect New York’s seniors.”