Leaders take steps to protect nursing homes from spread of coronavirus

Local News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the number of coronavirus cases grows in New York State, leaders are taking every precaution to keep one of the most vulnerable populations safe.

“Coronavirus poses significant risks for the elderly population, the frail population,” said Stephen Hanse, New York State Health Facilities Association.

The New York State Health Facilities Association says there are policies for nursing home and facilities to follow much like with any infectious disease.

This comes after several coronavirus deaths in Washington State have been linked to Life Care Center near Seattle.

Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York Saturday which gives more protection for nursing homes, allowing facilities to limit visitors.

“That protects our residents, that protects our staff because as you saw in Washington State, a number of the caregivers who worked in the nursing home became infected,” said Hanse.

Stephen Hanse with the state Health Facilities Association says as of now, no resident or staff member of a nursing in New York has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

“That’s not to say that as testing becomes more prevalent we won’t find individuals,” said Hanse.

The group says its been preparing facilities and staff across the state in the last few weeks and following CDC guidelines.

“Nursing homes are required to make sure that they have a plan for how to clean, how to care for residents and how to make sure that they’re communicating with not only the residents but with families as well,” said Jackie Pappalardi, executive director Foundation for Quality Care.

The State Health Facilities Association says in the event that a resident became sick they would be isolated from others which is standard even with the flu. The association says doesn’t recommend people wearing masks unless someone is sick.

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