It wasn’t just nursing homes.
The Cuomo administration has spent the last year quietly allowing COVID-19 patients to return to homes for the disabled — much like it did with nursing homes — and the policy remains in effect.
The state’s Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) issued a directive on April 10 barring the group homes from denying admission or re-admission to someone “based solely on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”
The order also prohibits the facilities from requiring that a hospitalized individual be tested for COVID-19 before being admitted or re-admitted.
At least 552 residents of such homes have died of the virus as of Wednesday. More than 6,900 out of the more than 34,552 who live in the facilities have been infected, the agency said.
The guidance is similar to the controversial state Health Department order issued in the early days of the pandemic that required nursing homes to accept recovering COVID-19 patients from hospitals.
The Cuomo administration has faced mounting criticism that the later-rescinded March 25 policy directive fueled outbreaks in hard-hit nursing homes. The governor has claimed that the policy followed federal guidance.