Assemblyman Ryan asks state to disclose nursing homes’ testing plans

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Assemblyman Sean Ryan wants the New York State Department of Health to disclose coronavirus testing plans submitted by nursing homes.

Starting in one week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says nursing home staff must be tested for the virus twice a week.

Ryan believes that disclosure of each nursing home operator’s plans “will ensure accountability and give the public confidence in the plan moving forward.”

As of May 12, the death toll of people with confirmed and presumed cases in nursing homes and adult care facilities in New York is 5,562. 224 of those deaths were in western New York.

“Deaths at nursing homes continue to rise at alarming rates,” Ryan says. “We have to get this situation under control. I thank the Department of Health for responding to my call to ensure all nursing home staff are continuously tested for COVID-19. We now must ensure this testing regimen is fully executed, and that starts with the disclosure of the testing plans that have been submitted to the state.”

Senators Rob Ortt, Chris Jacobs and Patrick Gallivan announced on Thursday morning that they are formally requesting an independent investigation into the state’s nursing homes.

Ortt and Gallivan are part of the Senate Committee on Health, while Jacobs is a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations.

“The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the already substandard conditions in some of our state’s nursing homes, has created dire circumstances – for the residents, their loved ones, and their caregivers,” Ortt said. “These facilities are home to some of our most vulnerable individuals, and we must ensure that there is proper oversight into actions taken by New York State’s Department of Health to protect this vulnerable population.”

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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