Gov. Cuomo outlines new guidelines for nursing homes; COVID-19 hospitalizations decline again

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — In an attempt to protect New York State’s most vulnerable population, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a new set of guidelines for nursing homes on Sunday.

Early in the COVID-19 process, guidelines like limiting visitation were put into effect at nursing homes across the state, and more guidelines were announced by Governor Cuomo at Sunday’s press conference.

Below are the new guidelines pertaining to nursing homes in New York State:

  • All nursing home staff must be tested for COVID-19 twice a week
  • Hospitals can’t discharge patients to nursing homes until they test negative for COVID-19

On Sunday, Governor Cuomo reiterated the fact that nursing homes must have any resident transferred to a different facility if they can not provide appropriate care for the resident.

There are many COVID-19 only locations that nursing home residents can be transferred to throughout the state, Governor Cuomo says.

“We have the facilities, we have the beds,” Governor Cuomo said. “It’s not like a situation where we have no options. We have options and we want to use them.”

Nursing homes can contact the New York State Department of Health if they need any resident transferred.

If nursing homes do not comply with the orders, Cuomo said they risk the chance of losing their licenses. 

Looking at reopening of NYS

Gov. Cuomo said that parts of New York State will be eligible to reopen on May 15.

During a press conference Sunday, Cuomo said that the state is looking at regional analysis to reopen next week when the PAUSE order expires.

According to Cuomo, two factors for governments to consider for reopening are:

  • if the data indicates that spread is under control
  • whether a region has their operations in place (hospital capacity/testing/tracing) and a plan to make sure businesses are compliant with social distancing guidelines.

COVID-19 by the numbers:

New York State’s COVID-19 graphs continue to regress back to similar numbers the state saw in March. 

Hospitalizations continue to decline, but 521 new patients were still admitted into hospitals on Saturday due to COVID-19. 

The death toll continues to hover around 200. Tragically, New York State lost 207 more people to the virus on Saturday. Governor Cuomo said, “Still terribly high, but better,” when referring to the number of COVID-19 deaths in the state.

Children possibly being affected by COVID-19:

At Saturday’s press conference, Governor Cuomo announced an illness that is starting to occur in some young children that could be related to COVID-19.

On Sunday, the governor announced the New York State Health Department is currently monitoring 85 cases of this illness. This is an increase from the 73 cases that were announced on Saturday.

The symptoms of this illness are not the same as COVID-19. Instead, children are being hospitalized with symptoms more closely related to Kawasaki disease & toxic shock syndrome. This unknown illness is causing many children’s blood vessels to expand, causing heart problems.

According to the New York State Department of Health, they are investigating the illness, and will issue a statement to all other 49 state health departments to update them on the situation.

The illness has already taken the lives of three young New Yorkers.

Cuomo’s plea for federal funding:

At his press conference Sunday, Governor Cuomo once again asked the federal government for assistance, as New York State is seeing an insurmountable amount of debt from fighting COVID-19.

According to the governor, New York State’s revenue will decline by $61 billion over the next four years due to COVID-19.

Additionally, all of the COVID-19 related expenditures New York State has had to make will cost the state $5 billion over the next two years.

Cuomo claims the federal government has provided funding for corporate America, but he wants to see more funding for the working people.

Governor Cuomo said, “You took care of corporate America, and I don’t even want to go through that, but now you’re going to starve police and fire and hospitals and schools? Everybody applauds the healthcare workers, but now you don’t want to provide any funding.”

If New York State does not receive more funding, Governor Cuomo has said cuts of around 20% will have to be made to schools, local governments and hospitals.

“Why would you make me allocate pain among schools, hospitals and local governments? It makes no sense at all,” Governor Cuomo said.

The New York State Governor also proposed a new law at Sunday’s press conference disallowing corporations from receiving subsidies for laying off employees.

Governor Cuomo proposed The Americans First Law. The governor said this law would state that if a corporation does not rehire the same number of employees pre-pandemic, they do not receive any government funds.

“You will see corporations using this pandemic to lay off workers,” Governor Cuomo said. “That’s what you will see, because they are already saying it to the market analysts. ‘We’re going to get lean during this period, we’re going to right-size during this period.’ What does that mean? It means they’re not going to rehire the same number of employees, so they’re going to boost their corporate profits by reducing the number of employees.”

According to Johns Hopkins University, there are over 335,000 cases of COVID-19 in the state.

To watch the entire press conference from Sunday, click on the video below:


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