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Citing “an urgent need to expand hospital capacity,”

New York state issued a blanket rule on March 25 requiring nursing homes to admit new or returning residents regardless of their COVID-19 status. The guidance also prohibited the facilities from testing patients before admission. New Jersey and California have implemented similar requirements.

After a Long Island nursing home was required to take recovering COVID-19 patients under the state policy, an outbreak of the virus killed at least 24 residents — only three of whom had been transferred from hospitals, an NBC News investigation found.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Cuomo denied that the change was a policy reversal, saying nursing homes could have contacted state officials at any time if they were not equipped to care for infected residents who wanted to be admitted.

“It was their obligation to inform, and it is their obligation to call the Department of Health and say, ‘You have to come get this person. I can’t care for them.’ That has

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