The controversy surrounding the deaths of nursing home and long-term care facility residents stretches back nearly a year and is engulfing the first weeks of 2021 for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration.
Here's a timeline for the last 11 months of the Cuomo administration's policies, the public requests for information and the fallout.
March 10: Cuomo, in an interview, says he's worried about the impact of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
"That's my nightmare and that's where you're going to see the pain and the damage from this virus," he tells CNN. "Senior citizen homes, nursing homes, congregant senior facilities. That is my nightmare."
March 13: The state limits visits to nursing homes to only those deemed medically necessary.
March 25: The state Department of Health issued a guidance for nursing homes, requiring them to not turn away COVID-19 positive patients. The Cuomo administration has argued the order was based, in part, on the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, which stipulated nursing homes can only take these patients if they are prepared to do so. An association that represents medical directors warned against the move at the time, worried it would overwhelm nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The order was preceded by a sharp increase in COVID hospitalizations across the state and fears the system would be quickly overrun with COVID patients.
April 17: New York begins to release some data on nursing home fatalities after repeated questions over the death toll in the facilities. The data is self-reported by the nursing homes and does not include the names of facilities with fewer than five deaths.
April 29: New York ends the policy of allowing asymptomatic, COVID-positive staffers to work in nursing homes with COVID patients.
May 10: The Cuomo administration partially rescinds the March 25 guidance for nursing homes to take in COVID-positive patients. New York also implements twice weekly COVID testing of nursing home staffers.
July 6: The state Department of Health in a report blames asymptomatic staff and visitors for the spread of the virus in nursing homes, downplaying the impact of the March 25 guidance.
July 7: State Senate Health Committee Chairman Gustavo Rivera says the DOH report raises more questions than answers and clarity is needed in an August hearing.
Aug. 3: The Empire Center, a right-leaning think tank in Albany, sends a Freedom of Information Law request seeking more specific information on the death toll of nursing home residents.
Aug. 12: State lawmakers grill Health Commissioner Howard Zucker on nursing home deaths in New York and the total count of fatalities among residents and how many people died outside of the facilities. They also called for more information on how many people were discharged into nursing homes.
“I want to know how many came from nursing homes,” Assemblyman Tom Abinanti said. “I want to know how many came from group homes."
Zucker promises to get back to lawmakers with the information.
Aug. 20: The state Senate and Assembly send letters to Zucker with a list of follow-up questions regarding nursing home deaths.
Aug. 26: The Department of Justice sends requests for information on nursing homes during the pandemic to the Cuomo administration as well as Democratic governors in several states.
Oct. 28: The Department of Justice seeks additional information from the state regarding nursing homes during the pandemic.
Dec. 15: The Empire Center files a lawsuit as its FOIL request continues to languish.
Jan. 28: Attorney General Letitia James issues a report finding New York under counted deaths of nursing home and long-term care facility residents.
Feb. 3: The Empire Center wins its lawsuit to trigger the release of more granular nursing home data.
Feb. 10: Zucker responds to the legisiative request first made in August, revealing more than 15,000 residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died since March.
Feb. 11: The Associated Press reports more than 9,000 COVID patients were transferred into nursing homes between March and May 2020.
Feb. 11: The New York Post reports a top aide to the governor, Melissa DeRosa, acknowledged to state lawmakers during a meeting the administration withheld nursing home data over concerns it would be politicized by the Department of Justice under President Donald Trump.
Feb. 15: Cuomo, in a news conference, acknowledges the lack of information created a "void" and regretted not making it public sooner.
Feb. 17: The Albany Times Union reports the U.S. attorney's office is investigating the Cuomo administration's compiling of nursing home data.