Updated: July 31, 2020 06:09 PM
Created: July 31, 2020 03:20 PM
NEW YORK (WHEC) — New legislation is calling for an independent investigation into COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes in New York State.
The bill was introduced Thursday. It would give independent investigators subpoena power and determine if nursing home protocols could be improved, should there be a second wave of the virus.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order in March allowed hospitals to send COVID-positive residents back to nursing homes before they fully recovered from the virus.
The policy was reversed in May.
State health officials say about 6,500 people have died from COVID-19 in nursing homes.
Republican State Sen. Jim Tedisco (R-Schenectady) thinks that the number is much higher.
"If it wasn't a bad thing to do using common sense, why did on May 10, did the governor rescind that executive order and say, ‘Nobody with coronavirus can go into a nursing home and we must test everybody before they go into a nursing home,’” Tedisco said. “So it does lend, taking the investigation by the administration with a grain of salt.”
Gov. Cuomo has defended his order on nursing homes saying he was following federal Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
A legislative hearing on nursing homes is already set for Monday.
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