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State Senate leader talks COVID-19 nursing home policy, as hearings near

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In August, the New York State legislature will hold hearings on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s policy on nursing homes during the COVID-19 crisis, including a controversial March 25 directive that required the homes to readmit residents who were in the hospital with coronavirus. WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt spoke with Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins as part of an interview with public radio and television. Stewart-Cousins said she is keeping an open mind.

New York lawmakers are also considering whether to strip away pieces of the broad legal shield they gave nursing homes, hospitals and other health care facilities to fend off lawsuits and criminal prosecutions over coronavirus care.

The Democrat-led Legislature agreed to the wide-ranging protection in early April, when the virus was raging in New York. But now many lawmakers are having second thoughts.

A proposal that could pass the state Assembly as soon as Thursday would notably narrow the legal immunity provisions, but it doesn't go as far as some backers originally sought.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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