Recognizing March 25, 2021, as We Care Remembrance Day

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Senate Resolution No. 554

BY: Senator SERINO

RECOGNIZING March 25, 2021, as "We Care"
Remembrance Day

WHEREAS, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo declared a state of emergency on
March 7, 2020, in response to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019,
known as COVID-19, a deadly virus that targets the elderly and
immunocompromised, and took the lives of more than 15,000 residents of
nursing homes and other adult care facilities; and

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to recognize March
25, 2021, as "We Care" Remembrance Day, in conjunction with the one-year
anniversary of state guidance that directed COVID-positive patients into
nursing homes and other adult care facilities; and

WHEREAS, While much was unknown about the COVID-19 virus, it was
known that the elderly and those in congregate residential settings were
particularly vulnerable, and the virus posed the threat of spreading
through nursing homes and adult care facilities like "fire through dry
grass;" and

WHEREAS, On March 13, 2020, visits to nursing homes were limited to
only those who were medically necessary in an effort to limit the spread
of the virus within these facilities, but such restrictions left many
residents socially isolated and cut off from loved ones, who are often
their strongest advocates; and

WHEREAS, During a time that was riddled with fear and uncertainty
due to the unprecedented public health crisis, residents of these
facilities were often unable to receive comfort from their loved ones
in-person, and tragically, in many cases, were unable to be with them at
the time of their passing; and

WHEREAS, The New York State Department of Health issued guidance on
March 25, 2020, requiring nursing homes to re-admit or admit
COVID-positive patients and further prohibited such facilities from
requiring hospitalized residents to be tested for COVID-19 prior to
admission or re-admission; and

WHEREAS, Records indicate more than 9,000 patients recovering from
COVID-19 were discharged from hospitals into nursing homes under the
March 25th guidance, prior to it being partially rescinded on May 10,
2020; and

WHEREAS, New York's nursing home facilities are home to
approximately 100,000 nursing home residents in 613 facilities
statewide, each with unique stories and loved ones, and many of whom
were, and even still are, active participants in building their
communities; and

WHEREAS, These individuals took residence in nursing homes and other
adult care facilities so they can continue to live their lives, with the
assistance and supports they need to do so, in a fulfilling manner,
while they age with dignity; and

WHEREAS, The loss of any life is tragic, and even more so if such
loss was preventable, and it is further tragic if such lives are lost in
vain; and

WHEREAS, It is the responsibility of state officials to ensure that
the state's most vulnerable residents are protected, and that no state
action jeopardizes their health or well-being, and it is incumbent upon
such officials to learn from past errors and to constantly improve to
promote the safety of all New Yorkers; and

WHEREAS, The New York State Department of Health, contrary to the
reporting standards of most other states, excluded the deaths of
residents that occurred in hospitals from reports of nursing home and
adult care facility fatalities, and went to great lengths to prevent
disclosing a full accounting of such fatalities; and

WHEREAS, New York State owes it to the residents of nursing homes
and adult care facilities who lost their lives during the COVID-19
pandemic, as well as those who still live in these facilities or will in
the future, who have contributed so much throughout their lives to their
communities, to enact fact-driven policies based on a full and
transparent accounting of what took place in these facilities to ensure
their well-being in the future; and

WHEREAS, Their deaths may not have been counted by the state, but
their lives counted immensely to their loved ones, and their legacies
should be honored; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
recognize March 25, 2021, as "We Care" Remembrance Day.


  • 24 / Mar / 2021

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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