New York’s Health Department signed off on a move to allow nursing home nurses and other staff who tested positive for COVID-19 to continue caring for residents with the virus, according to a news report.
Even though local officials from Steuben County had objected to the action at the Hornell Gardens nursing home, state officials approved it, the New York Post reported this week. At least 15 people have died at Hornell Gardens home since the coronavirus outbreak occurred, according to local reports. The state’s decision came after testing indicated that 1 in 3 of the facility’s residents and staff tested positive for COVID-19.
The state of New York has been under fire since it issued a directive telling nursing homes that they had to readmit residents from hospitals who had the coronavirus but didn’t need intensive care. Nursing home associations have criticized this action because of the inherent dangers in exposing vulnerable nursing home residents to the virus.
When asked about the situation at Hornell this week, Howard Zucker, the state health commissioner, said that the facility is taking necessary precautions to keep the residents safe.
“The patients who are, your question about the asymptomatic, we make sure they have necessary precautions that they need by going in there to care for individuals there,” he said, according to a news report. “That involves PPE and we monitor them and we’re working on a way to test them and we are testing individuals who are in the nursing homes, both the workers as well as the patients.”