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Saturday, 18 April 2020

COVID-19 numbers a senior stunner: NY state nursing homes more like funeral homes, with nearly 2,500 patient fatalities

A patient is wheeled into Cobble Hill Health Center by emergency medical workers, Friday, April 17, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The despair wrought on nursing homes by the coronavirus was laid bare Friday in a state survey identifying numerous New York facilities where multiple patients have died.
A patient is wheeled into Cobble Hill Health Center by emergency medical workers, Friday, April 17, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The despair wrought on nursing homes by the coronavirus was laid bare Friday in a state survey identifying numerous New York facilities where multiple patients have died.

A single Brooklyn nursing home reported a staggering 55 residents dead from coronavirus during the ongoing pandemic, with more than 40 deaths revealed Friday in another four facilities located in Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island.
The grim revelations indicated that one in every five of New York state’s COVID-19 fatalities died inside a nursing home, with a staggering 19 of the facilities statewide reporting 20 or more deaths in the ongoing pandemic. The grand total of statewide nursing home deaths was 2,477 through this past Tuesday, officials said.
“These have been surreal times, and we are suffering as is everybody else,” said Dr. Roy Goldberg, medical director at the Kings Harbor Multicare Center in the Bronx. “Every death is heartbreaking.”
The 720-bed home reported 45 fatalities, giving credence to recent reports from nursing home workers of death tolls well above what anyone expected.
Employees at a Brooklyn nursing home held a demonstration earlier in the week, alleging the bodies of 10 deceased patients were stored in a room with the windows open and the air conditioner on.
And the Friday figures could actually undercount the number of fatalities. One state nursing home official said 21 of their patients had died — while the state reported just 10 fatalities inside the Montgomery Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, about 50 miles north of the city.
“It’s been a very trying time for the staff, to lose residents they care for day in and day out,” said center Vice President Vincent Maniscalco. “When somebody passes away, they celebrate a resident’s life.”
Gov. Cuomo signed off Friday on an executive order requiring nursing homes to report coronavirus deaths and positive tests to family members within 24 hours. The homes were previously asked to share the grim news with relatives, but notification is now mandated.
Nursing homes, since the earliest days of the outbreak, emerged as hotbeds for the virus to spread through the at-risk population of senior citizens. A home in Washington state lost 43 residents early in the virus’ spread, while a Richmond, Va., home lost 46 residents.

Across the Hudson River, a nursing home in Andover, N.J., confirmed Thursday the deaths of 26 patients from the virus.

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