Nursing homes in New York must immediately report how they’ve complied with regulations for resident care during the coronavirus, and non-compliant facilities could face hefty fines or lose their licenses, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
Cuomo said the state Department of Health and state Attorney General Letitia James’ office would be investigating to see how nursing homes are meeting regulations including alerting all residents and their family members of coronavirus cases and fatalities.
The state’s tally of deaths of nursing home residents rose to 2,902 and adult care facilities reported 638 deaths. That was 22 percent of the state death toll.
Some long-term care facilities have been hit harder than others. The Crown Heights Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation has had more than 50 deaths — but despite the grim details the staff there says they've had to fight hard for every piece PPE the facility gets.
Nursing homes now must separate, isolate or transfer certain residents with COVID-19 and provide personal protective equipment to staff. All staff members must have their temperatures checked, and a separate staff has to be designated for residents who test positive for COVID-19.
"If they can't care for the person in the facility, they have to transfer the person to another facility," th governor said.
Cuomo added that state health officials will inspect non-compliant facilities, which could have to submit an action plan and potentially face $10,000 fines per violation or lose their license.
A dozen nursing homes have reported at least 30 deaths. But such numbers are an undercount, with some nursing homes only reporting presumed or confirmed deaths.