nursing homes

New York State Senate

Family members of nursing home residents, testifying at a legislative hearing this week, told harrowing tales of neglect and unresponsive staff and administrators while the COVID-19 pandemic raged in New York this spring.

New York State Legislature

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker declined to testify at Monday’s public hearing on the COVID-19 crisis in upstate nursing homes, leaving lawmakers to instead question nursing home stakeholders about issues like shortages of testing and personal protective equipment, as well as restrictions on visitation.

 

 


New York State Legislature

Monday’s public hearing on the COVID-19 crisis in upstate New York nursing homes will likely feature talk about reforming visitation policies and a lack of personal protective equipment, but don’t expect to hear from who some consider the state’s most important nursing home witness, state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

 


Office of the Governor

The New York State Legislature on Monday held the first of two hearings on the thousands of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents. Questions to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, focused on a controversial March 25 directive that required nursing homes to take back COVID-19 patients from hospitals.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

New York state finally gave nursing homes permission to allow visitation July 15, but more than two weeks later, the overwhelming majority of nursing homes remain closed off to visitors. WBFO’s Older Adults Reporter Tom Dinki examines the slow reopening, which some blame on nursing homes not planning ahead and others blame on what they say are overly strict state guidelines. 


WBFO/Michael Mroziak

Organizers of what was called the Strike for Black Lives say Monday's nationwide event was a call to governments and corporations to confront systemic racism in society and in the economy. In the Buffalo area, 1199SEIU members also used the occasion to raise awareness of working conditions in local nursing homes.

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

Residents of the Schoellkopf Health Center in Niagara Falls are being allowed to have visitors. Visiting has been barred since mid-March because of COVID-19. 

NYS to allow limited visitation at nursing homes

Jul 11, 2020
Office of the Governor

New York State will now allow limited and regulated visitation at nursing homes that have been free of COVID-19 for at least 28 days, the state Department of Health said Friday.

Kevin P. Coughlin / (Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo)

A New York state report released this week found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial executive order, which placed COVID-19 hospital patients into nursing homes, was not to blame for the state’s more than 6,000 nursing home deaths. But, as WBFO’s Older Adults Reporter Tom Dinki found, many, including Republican lawmakers, watchdog groups and medical professionals, still have questions about what impact the order had.

 

 


Office of the Governor

A coalition of government reform groups say the New York State Legislature should consider limiting some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers gained during the pandemic and return, at least remotely, to meeting in session to set policy for the state.

New York state has been criticized for previously mandating that nursing homes take in COVID-19 patients from hospitals. But on Monday the state Department of Health issued a report saying the policy was not the major driver of nursing home deaths, and that it was instead nursing home workers unknowingly bringing the virus into facilities. WBFO’s Older Adults Reporter Tom Dinki spoke with Dr. Nancy Nielsen from the University at Buffalo to discuss the report and what it does — and does not — confirm about the state’s more than 6,000 nursing home deaths.

 


Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker issued a report Monday on the likely cause of deaths from COVID-19 in New York’s nursing homes that he says shows the virus came in through infected staff, not through hospital readmissions. 

 

 


MIke Desmond / WBFO News

It was the symbolic power of flowers, for joy or for tragedy, that decorated a remembrance Thursday for 298 people who have died in area nursing comes during the COVID-19 crisis.


Reed image WBFO file photo; Scalise photo courtesy Scalise.House.Gov

Congressman Tom Reed, a Southern Tier Republican, and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise are calling for an independent investigation of how five states, including New York, managed COVID patients and nursing homes as the coronavirus pandemic was growing. Governor Andrew Cuomo, they say, defied guidelines by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services when ordering nursing homes to take in patients who had tested positive for COVID-19.

Catholic Health

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says visitors will now be allowed for patients at hospitals and residents of group homes for the developmentally disabled. But nursing home visits remain off limits, for now.


Mary O'Brien

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing increasing pressure to relax a ban on nursing home visits. The ban is intended to protect residents of long-term care facilities from coronavirus infections, but many feel the policy endangers senior citizens in another way.

Nursing homes are asking New York regulators to ease up on a twice-weekly coronavirus testing mandate for their employees.

Ryan Zunner / WBFO News

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar visited both Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Buffalo General Hospital, Thursday, for a tour of the work the facilities are doing in both treatment and research on COVID-19. He also participated in a roundtable discussion with local business leaders on what they're doing to ensure safe re-openings.

Buffalo.edu

As the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 continues to decline, more of public life will reopen. While it's a positive development, Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, offers the stern reminder that "this is not a virus to be trifled with." Nielsen answers questions related to COVID-19 every Thursday morning on WBFO.

WBFO file photo

The Erie County Legislature has joined the call for an independent investigation into how New York state has handled the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes.


The McGuire Group

The McGuire Group announced Thursday that Harris Hill Nursing Facility in Williamsville is now exclusively taking care of residents sick with COVID-19.

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Employees of Center Health Care’s two Buffalo nursing homes protested over a lack of hazard pay Thursday, saying they are putting themselves and their families at risk without being fairly compensated.

 

 


Albert Pautler

New York nursing homes must start twice-weekly coronavirus testing for all staffers and will no longer be sent COVID-19 patients leaving hospitals, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday after facing criticism over the handling of nursing facility outbreaks.

State Senate Republicans are calling for an independent investigation into the state’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic.

Catholic Health

New York state reports that Father Baker Manor has had more residents die of COVID-19 than any nursing home in Western New York. Those who operate Father Baker Manor say there’s a reason why: They’re actually testing their residents for COVID-19, while many other nursing homes are not.

Niagara County

Niagara County Legislature Chair Becky Wydysh opened her coronavirus briefing Tuesday with a sad reminder of how many people are dying of COVID-19, calling it "the worst day yet."

Tom Dinki/WBFO News file photo

Western New York has seen at least 150 nursing home residents across more than 20 facilities die of COVID-19, according to the latest data from New York state, but the death toll could be even higher.

Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The number of COVID-19 deaths in New York is steadily going down, and 230 were reported on Monday. But New York state is now adding 1,700 more deaths at nursing homes in the past few weeks that are believed to be from the disease.


Niagara Region

The human damage from the COVID-19 pandemic is also hitting our neighbors across the Niagara River, in the Regional Municipality of Niagara. The infection is still rising, approaching 500 cases.

Mike Groll, Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

At least 2,900 New York state nursing home residents have died of COVID-19, including at least 70 in Western New York. Now the state will investigate whether facilities have done everything possible to prevent those deaths.

 

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