WEST ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Ellen Horne’s mother, Madeline, languished in a Long Island nursing home.

“I understand they were trying to do their best, but this horrific experience must never, ever happen again to our parents and grandparents,” said Ellen Horne, now one of the children whose parents became a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The lucky ones now able to deliver brief messages of comfort through nursing home windows, reports CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.

“My mother passed away alone,” said Jeff Weber, the son of another coronavirus victim. “It is something that will haunt me. The almighty buck may have outweighed common sense of this thing.”

A group of protestors and their assemblyman are calling for a federal probe into New York State’s nursing home deaths, pointing fingers at the governor.

“This March 26 directive mandated nursing homes take infected COVID-19 patients,” said New York State Assemblyman Mike LiPetri.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said the state followed federal guidelines, has since ordered reforms, a prohibition on discharging COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes and routine testing of staff.

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Lorry Sullivan claims her mom Lorraine entered a nursing home with a leg injury and came out in a body bag.

“After calling here, my whole family asking is COVID in the building, and we were told no,” she said.

Our Lady of Consolation in West Islip saw a staggering 40 nursing home patients die. This nursing home and several others CBS2 contacted say their facilities regularly test patients, isolate those who are symptomatic and are in constant contact with families.

“I would like to try to save my mother’s life,” said Robin Hepworth, daughter-in-law to a COVID-19 nursing home victim.

Despite the Hepworth family’s demands, Betty Ann Hepworth died alone.

“I were not kept in the loop, there was no transparency,” she said.

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The goal of the heartbroken relatives is greater oversight, changes, and answers.