Washington, D.C.  – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik joined with Members of the NY Delegation to send a letter urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to investigate New York State’s adherence to appropriate safety and health guidance for nursing homes and long-term care facilities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This request comes after New York State issued uncertain and shifting policy guidance on providing care for some of the most vulnerable in our communities at nursing homes statewide. This included encouraging facilities to accept patients who have been previously diagnosed with COVID-19, and at one point, allowing asymptomatic COVID-19 caregivers to attend to residents. Additionally, without sufficient state-provided personal protective equipment (PPE), healthcare workers have been at a significantly higher risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Congresswoman Stefanik was joined by Reps. John Katko (NY-24), Lee Zeldin (NY-1), Pete King (NY-2), and Tom Reed (NY-23) in sending this letter to HHS and CMS.

“Throughout this public health crisis, I have repeatedly urged New York State to carefully consider our most vulnerable older populations whom often reside in nursing homes and long-term care facilities,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Many of the state’s policies have put not only the residents of these facilities, but also those who care for them, at risk of direct exposure to COVID-19. I am joining my colleagues to urge HHS and CMS to review the efficacy of Governor Cuomo and New York State’s COVID-19 guidance for these facilities and provide more information and federal oversight. It is imperative that we protect our seniors, who deserve safe, reliable housing and care, from exposure to COVID-19 whenever possible. I will continue to advocate on their behalf throughout this crisis.”

Find a copy of the letter here.