Long Island News Post Published on May, 20th 2020, Written by Nick P.
NY Governor Cuomo announced that the Western New York area around Buffalo will partially reopen beginning Thursday. This will make the Buffalo area the sixth region in the state able to enter the first Phase of reopening.
Long Island, however, is still deemed not ready to reopen as Nassau and Suffolk Counties have only met 5 of the 7 required benchmarks. The Long Island area is one step ahead of New York City, which has fallen back to only meeting three of seven benchmarks.
Cuomo Ups Testing in Nursing Homes as As Long Island Waits to Open
In response to his handling of nursing home patients amid the pandemic, Cuomo is now defending the state's push for the periodic testing of Nursing Home staff for COVID-19. “We worked day and night to get this testing capacity,” Cuomo said while speaking at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.
This statement was made after Cuomo announced the state will be periodically testing the staff in New York's 600 nursing homes. The state will continue to push for testing the staff of nursing homes about twice per week in order to detect and contain the spread of Coronavirus in spots that are likely to be vulnerable to outbreaks.
On Monday alone, the MTA helped distribute 47,484 COVID-19 testing kits to 106 nursing homes across New York City on Monday. The state will be sending a total of 320,000 tests to nursing homes this week.
Nursing home operators are not happy about the mandated testing, citing the difficulties of testing the staff twice per week. The goal is to conduct around 35,000 tests a day.
Cuomo then acknowledged that other states do not have such a high standard of nursing home testing, but called it necessary to protect nursing home residents. This emphasis on protecting nursing home residents, who are some of the most vulnerable to Coronavirus, comes after Cuomo previously sent recovering Coronavirus patients directly to nursing homes in recent weeks.
We have reported about a protest at a Long Island Nursing Home in West Islip that took place in early May regarding the treatment of patients and lack of transparency with health information.
Cuomo made a statement defending his option for increased testing saying “We’re going to do what we have to do to protect the lives of New Yorkers. Who is in a nursing home? This is your mother. This is your father, your sister, your brother. This is our family who is in nursing homes … They’re our senior family members, who we owe nothing but gratitude and respect.”
Stephen Hanse, president, and CEO of New York State Health Facilities Association thanked the governor for expanding testing, but still expressed concern about costs. The expanded testing will require about 410,000 tests weekly, costing approximate $60 million per week. Hanse said to test at this rate “We will need continued support from the state and the federal government.”
Long Island Beaches Expecting Huge Memorial Day Crowds
Long Island beaches are expecting major crowds, as Mayor Bill De Blasio closed New York City beaches. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has said she spoke with de Blasio about her concerns.
"I understand that this can be quite challenging in more densely populated places, so I respect his decision," Curran said. "I also understand that as hard hit as we have been on Long Island, New York City really has been the epicenter of this crisis."
Long Island will be keeping its beaches parking lots at 50% to help reduce the number of people gathering on the beaches.
Nassau County announced that they will hold a news conference Tuesday to announce a bill that would mandate beach exclusively for Nassau residents. This will address the concerns of New York City residents from rushing to Long Island Beaches for the holiday.
As the holiday weekend approaches, Long Island residents are urged to act in a safe manner to allow us to further control the spread of the Coronavirus while having a good time as we look to reopen in a timely fashion.
FOLLOW: Long Island Hub's Instagram!
Long Island News Post Published May 20th, 2020
Long Island Hub Members Also Viewed These:
- Long Island News
- Protest at Long Island Nursing Home
- Long Island Coronavirus Cases By Town
Scroll Back Up