North Country Sen. Griffo: State should keep focus on nursing homes as pandemic ensues
New York State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R -Rome, has reached out to state Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker regarding the state’s handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sen. Griffo’s office says a number of nursing home residents and their families have reached out to discuss “serious and significant concerns they have regarding these facilities and COVID-19.”His office says Griffo expressed these concerns, “which included the mental, emotional and physical effect that lockdowns and a lack of visitation can have on residents,” to Commissioner Zucker.
The senator also urged Commissioner Zucker “to prioritize testing, ensure that necessary staffing is available at nursing homes and to expand visitation opportunities, which has been done at hospitals and group homes in the state,” his office said.
“New York residents have made sacrifices to stop the spread of COVID-19 by not visiting their spouses, parents and grandparents,” Sen. Griffo’s office said he expressed to Commissioner Zucker. “They deserve to have the peace of mind that their loved ones are receiving the care they deserve during this difficult time.”
The senator’s office said he has been “a strong advocate for nursing home residents and their families” while more than 6,000 deaths have occurred in state-regulated nursing homes as a result of COVID-19.
“While I recognize the significant risks and difficult challenges confronting the state as a result of this public health crisis, it is important that we continue to focus on the state’s nursing homes and address the concerns that many have raised,” Sen. Griffo said in a prepared statement. “I will continue to advocate on the behalf of the state’s most vulnerable populations, including our nursing home residents. It is important that we continue to work to improve the conditions in these facilities during this pandemic. The residents and their loved ones deserve nothing less.”
“Sen. Griffo also continues to push legislation he has previously introduced that would provide for additional comfort, safety and peace of mind for those in a nursing home,” the senator’s office said in a news release. “The bill (S3786), would allow for allow a patient or their family to have an electronic monitoring device such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home, installed in his or her room at the expense of the individual or their family. The legislation would provide nursing home residents with another option that can help them to stay connected with loved ones at a time when in-person visitation is not permitted.”
The legislation is in the Senate’s Health Committee.
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