AVOCA, N.Y. (WETM) – Last week Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a state mandate ordering all nursing home and adult care facilities to have their employees tested twice a week for COVID-19.
Steuben County has eight adult care facilities, according to Steuben County Manager, Jack Wheeler. He says many have reached out to him with concerns over the costs that these tests.
Cohocton Valley Home for Adults houses eight veterans and employs seven people to care for them. Cristina Schlageter Administrator for the home fears the costs will be too much for the facility to remain open for much longer.
“Not even two weeks, I mean, it’s just not, I don’t know what to do,” said Schlageter. “I have been looking into every resource, I have asked everyone for assistance so that I can keep my eight veterans in this facility so that they can still reside in their home, but we do not have the funding to process the test.”
The state provided tests to nursing homes and adult care facilities across to help ease the financial toll that this mandate will take.
“The Department removed potential barriers to this testing initiative by sending 320,000 testing kits directly to facilities this week,” said the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) in an emailed statement.
But one week of tests is not enough resources for Cohocton Valley Home for Adults to remain open, leaving Schlageter with a lot of unanswered questions.
“What am I going to do? My veterans, my residents, they are more than that, they are our family and then we are just going to shut down? What’s going to happen to my veterans that live here?” said Schlageter.
NYSDOH said that they are “connecting all facilities with commercial labs that have (the) capacity to manage tens of thousands of tests daily.” But says that the “facilities are responsible for providing testing for their employees, including assuming responsibility for the costs of testing.”