Rensselaer Co. exec: State officials refuse to follow nursing home visitation guidelines

Jill Konopka & WNYT Staff
Updated: October 01, 2020 02:04 PM
Created: October 01, 2020 01:41 PM

Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin isn't happy he says state officials refuse to follow their own guidelines when it comes to nursing homes.

He sent a letter to the Department of Health Wednesday after seven inspectors showed up at the county run nursing home to do a five-day inspection.


"I'm not playing games. Nobody's going in the facility without proof of a test. I don't care if you're Donald Trump. I don't care if you're Andrew Cuomo. You're not coming through the door without proof of a negative test."

"If the state inspectors who arrived at the Van Rensselaer manor this morning are indeed COVID-19 free and current on their test, then why would the state refuse to share that information or allow staff to make simple assertions of fact," asked McLaughlin.

The same thing happened in July. Families of current residents, including 100-year-old Margaret Nagel and 82-year-old Dorothy Richman, say they're grateful McLaughlin is looking out for their loved ones.

Hear from family members by watching the video of Jill Konopka's story.

Gary Holmes with the New York State Department of Health released the following statement to NewsChannel 13:

"When the County Executive pulled the same stunt back in July we warned him that it would ultimately be his nursing home residents and county taxpayers that would pay the price.  Although not required by federal mandate, our inspectors are tested weekly in the same manner as the staff at Van Rensselaer Manor. This is reckless obstruction of a federally mandated inspection and we have referred the matter to CMS."


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