Reopen NY: Governor Cuomo calls no visitation at nursing homes 'better than death'

NEW YORK (WABC) -- When asked at his daily briefing when visitation may begin again at nursing homes in regions with very low COVID-19 transmission, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "The closedown is a pain in the neck, but my continued answer is, it's better than death."

Currently, residents at long-term care and nursing home facilities in New York state cannot receive any visitors. It's been three months since residents have seen anyone other than their nurses, doctors and aides.

"I love my loved one in the nursing home. Yes. I miss them. Yes. I haven't seen my mother since this started. I'm very close with my mother, I haven't seen her in more than 100 days, well I want to go see my mother," Cuomo said. "Why haven't I? Well because I love my mother and I could get her sick. Well, wear a mask. I could still get her sick. I'm not seeing my mother because I love her, that's why I'm not seeing her."

The governor went on to say that the only way he would lift the restrictions on visitation would be if the health department or health officials say it is safe to do so.

"When the health professional says you can go into a nursing home and visit people in a nursing home and the reward outweighs that risk, we will change that rule. I'm not going to let people endanger people, because you could walk into a nursing home to visit your mother and bring in the virus that could affect my mother that is in the next room. So it's not just your responsibility, and your parent, and your loved one. It's all the other people in that nursing home also and your right to endanger their lives," he said.

Governor Cuomo said that the Department of Health is examining the statistics on nursing homes and the coronavirus daily.

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