Nursing homes should only test for coronavirus once a week, NY Health Commissioner recommends

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP/NEWS10) — Nursing homes are asking New York regulators to ease up on a twice-weekly coronavirus testing mandate for their employees.

Organizations that represent nursing homes sent a letter to state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker Tuesday, saying the state requirement creates financial and practical burdens that make it harder to provide quality care to residents.

They want to reduce testing to once a week. According to the letter, from the New York State Health Facilities Association, the Greater New York Health Care Facilities Association, and the Southern New York Association, “The current testing policy, while well intentioned, now creates significant economic and practical burdens that inhibit, and often detract from, our ability to provide safe and quality care to our residents.”

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker released a statement on Wednesday which did not directly address the request, though it did confirm that a weekly mandate would remain in place. However, Zucker says he has recommended that nursing homes reduce testing to only once per week. His statement reads, in part:

“I have recommended to Governor Cuomo that moving forward, New York State follow CDC guidance in requiring nursing home staff to be tested once a week.”

Dr. Howard Zucker
New York State Health Commissioner

Take a look at the original letter from nursing home representatives:

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