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Nursing homes ask state to loosen COVID-19 testing mandate

Nursing homes are asking New York regulators to ease up on a twice-weekly coronavirus testing mandate for their employees.

Organizations that represent nursing homes sent a letter to state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker Tuesday saying the state requirement creates financial and practical burdens that make it harder to provide quality care to residents. They want to reduce testing to once a week.

The request comes as all regions of the state are easing lockdown restrictions. Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported 46 new COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, including 16 in nursing homes. On average, about 150 new patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have been entering New York hospitals each day in recent days.

UPDATE 6/10: New York is now allowing nursing homes in some parts of the state to test staffers for COVID-19 only once a week.

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