Andrew Cuomo’s Star Falling: Questions arise about NY forcing nursing homes to admit infected patients
State’s nursing-home mandate under fire. NYC’s numbers are a leading factor the the state’s staggering COVID-19 statistics.
As of today, nearly 55,000 Americans are reported to have died because of COVID-19.
It is well known that the elderly and frail are more susceptible to the Wuhan Coronavirus. As a result, almost one of five COVID-19 deaths have occurred among those who live in nursing homes or other long-term care institutions.
A survey by the Wall Street Journal published Wednesday found at least 10,700 fatalities among 35 states that either submit data online or responded to information requests.
Some states, including Ohio and Washington, have not reported data in such COVID-19 deaths, while others, like Massachusetts and West Virginia, are working to ramp up testing for residents and staffers at long-term facilities, the newspaper reports.
The virus has infected residents and employees in at least 4,800 facilities, leading to more than 56,000 infections nationwide.
New York state is the epicenter of the American outbreak, accounting for 40% of the deaths. The grim statistic stems from the fact New York City has recorded over 155,000 cases (16% of the national total) and over 11,000 deaths (22% of American deaths).
One factor for the NYC numbers is that the NYC subway system is a moving petri dish.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo provided frightening new details about the durability of the coronavirus — telling New Yorkers that the virus can linger in the air for up to three hours and survive for three days on plastic and steel surfaces commonly found on trains and buses.
The startling new information may explain how the disease spread so far and wide across the five boroughs and why the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s workforce has been hit so hard by the pandemic.
“We’ve been working on how to come up with new cleaning and disinfecting protocols,” Cuomo said, who described the findings as a “shocker to me.”
Another factor is the New York state mandate that nursing homes must readmit residents sent to hospitals with the coronavirus and accept new patients as long as they are deemed “medically stable.” This order apparently stems from the politically correct motivation of “fairness,” a ludicrous approach to preventing the spread of disease.
The clientele at these establishments now have additional stress and worry about coronavirus exposures.
Neal Nibur has lived in a nursing home for about a year, ever since he had a bad bout of pneumonia. Now, the 80-year-old man has not only his own health to worry about but that of his neighbors at the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., residence. Four new patients recently arrived from the hospital with Covid-19.
They were admitted for one reason, according to staff members: A state guideline says nursing homes cannot refuse to take patients from hospitals solely because they have the coronavirus.
“I don’t like them playing Russian roulette with my life,” said Mr. Nibur, who is on oxygen. “It’s putting us at risk. I am 80 years old with underlying problems. Everybody here has an underlying problem.”
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is sounding the alarm about the mandate as well.
Transferring COVID patients from hospitals to nursing homes threatens to make the problem worse. In addition to housing the most vulnerable Americans, many nursing homes already have poor infection control records. Personal protective equipment is hard to come by, and testing kits are often scarce.
Furthermore, it turns out that one overwhelmed NYC facility begged to send its ill patients to the USS Comfort, which was then in port.
New York health officials were warned in writing that a Brooklyn nursing home where 55 patients have died of coronavirus was overwhelmed — weeks before it began topping the state’s official list of resident COVID-19 deaths, damning emails show.
Cobble Hill Health Center CEO Donny Tuchman sent a desperate email to state Health Department officials on April 9, asking if there was “a way for us to send our suspected covid patients” to the hospital built inside the Javits Convention Center or the US Naval hospital ship Comfort — the under-utilized federal medical facilities on Manhattan’s West Side.
“We don’t have the ability to cohort right now based on staffing and we really want to protect our other patients,” Tuchman wrote in a chain of the emails reviewed by The Post.
“I was told those facilities were only for hospitals” to send their overflow patients, Tuchman said.
When the pandemic has ended, and states fully reopen, there will be many valuable lessons that will come from New York State. Unfortunately, it seems, many of them will be on what not to do.
Furthermore, forcing the rest of the country to remain quarantined based on how the disease is behaving in New York is clearly unwise.DONATE
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