ALBANY N.Y. (NEWS10) — March 25 marks one year since New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order, mandating nursing homes to take in positive COVID-19 patients as a way to help free up hospital beds. Since the order, the Cuomo Administration has received a lot of backfire.

On Thursday, rallies were held across the state to honor the nursing home patients who lost their lives to COVID-19. Lawmakers and families are blaming the state’s March 25 executive order; however, the Cuomo Administration says that has nothing to do with it.

Republican Senator Sue Serino introduced a resolution to designate March 25 as a day to honor and recognize all nursing home victims, calling it “We Care” Remembrance Day.” We will not forget these COVID victims…It is in their memory that we continue the fight for justice for better policies and to ensure that no one else ever has to suffer these families have.” says Sen. Serino.

In March 2020, the number of cases were on the rise everyday. Many hospitals were at full capacity and that’s when Gov. Cuomo signed the executive order to relieve hospitals. Local lawmakers say the March 25 directive was the reason thousands of nursing home residents have died from COVID-19.“I believe the investigations will show that the action on the 25th led to a great deal of that happening,” says Sen. Jim Tedisco.

Governor Cuomo has repeatedly said over the year, blaming him was political. “These are public health decisions; they are not local, political decisions.”

“As the Attorney General’s report rightly points out, the March 25th Department of Health  guidance was consistent with and followed Federal guidance issued by the CDC and CMS and was not a directive to accept a COVID patients if they could not otherwise provide appropriate care – a point the Attorney General’s Office found the nursing homes understood.”

Gary Holmes, NYS Department of Health spokesperson