Stephen Hanse, president and CEO of the New York State Health Facilities Association and the New York State Center for Assisted Living, representing over 400 skilled nursing providers and adult care/assisted living communities, issued the following statement on Tuesday:
“While we applaud Gov. Cuomo’s new testing directive to safeguard nursing home residents and staff, we will need significant assistance from state government to increase the availability of testing for skilled nursing and assisted living employees.
“New York has 614 nursing homes with over 140,000 employees and roughly 500 assisted living facilities with over 45,000 employees. As such, the governor’s executive order requires over 370,000 tests to be conducted every week. To date, the state has tested approximately 1.2 million individuals and this requirement will eclipse that total in short order. Consequently, we are requesting the state to direct the supply and allocation of tests to providers and ensure that the test results can be processed in a timely manner. Moreover, providers need the state to ensure additional staff will be available to fill-in for infected employees.
“Many state governments, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Florida, have directed their state’s National Guard to help with testing in the immediate term at nursing home facilities of all residents and caregivers, and even help with short-term staffing shortages if caregivers test positive. We ask for similar assistance here in New York from our state leaders.”