Senator Gallivan Co-Sponsors Legislation to Repeal Dangerous OPWDD Order

Directive Requires Group Homes to Admit COVID Positive Residents

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) is co-sponsoring legislation (S.5922) to end an April 10, 2020 directive from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) requiring group homes to admit or readmit COVID-19 positive residents. The order may have contributed to the number of group home residents infected with the virus and hundreds of COVID-related deaths. 

The bill would prevent OPWDD group homes from knowingly allowing a COVID positive resident from entering or re-entering that facility as a temporary or permanent resident without a negative COVID-19 test. 

“Much like the executive order that allowed COVID positive individuals back into nursing homes, this directive endangers the health and safety of group home residents and staff,” Senator Gallivan said.  “I urge my Senate colleagues to pass this legislation to reverse this policy and prevent future spread of this virus.”   

Nearly 7,000 residents of group homes have tested positive for coronavirus, which represents about 20-percent of the total population of residents.  Of those infected, more than 500 have died. 

The legislation, which would repeal the group home directive immediately, is being considered by the Senate Disabilities Committee.