AP: Over 9K Recovering Patients Ushered into NY Nursing Homes, 40% More than Reported

Emergency Medical Service workers unload a patient out of their ambulance at the Cobble Hill Health Center on April 18, 2020 in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The nursing home has had at least 55 COVID-19 reported deaths. (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
Justin Heiman/Getty Images

More than 9,000 recovering coronavirus patients were ushered into New York nursing homes and long-term care facilities last year — thousands more than the Cuomo administration initially disclosed — according to the Associated Press.

The Cuomo administration has come under fire for failing to initially disclose the number of both coronavirus-related fatalities in long-term care facilities and recovering coronavirus patients discharged into the facilities under the administration’s March 25 directive requiring the establishments to accept recovering coronavirus patients.

“The new number of 9,056 recovering patients sent to hundreds of nursing homes is more than 40% higher than what the state health department previously released,” the AP reported.

The state’s Department of Health acknowledged that “approximately 6,326 COVID-positive residents were admitted to facilities between March 25, 2020 and May 8, 2020″ alone but cast doubt that Cuomo’s directive led to an increase in fatalities in the facilities.

“A statewide nursing home survey conducted by New York State Department of Health] for admission data from March 25, 2020 – May 8, 2020 shows that approximately 6,326 COVID-19 patients were admitted from a hospital to a total of 310 unique nursing homes,” the Department said in a document last updated February 11.

“However, the peak date COVID-positive residents entered nursing homes occurred on April 14, 2020, a week after peak mortality in New York’s nursing homes occurred on April 8, 2020,” the Department continued.

“If admissions were driving fatalities, the order of the peak fatalities and peak admissions would have been reversed,” the Department added, noting that the analysis showed that “304 of the 310 nursing homes—or 98 percent— already had a suspected or confirmed COVID-positive resident, COVID-related confirmed or presumed fatality, or worker infected prior to admission of a single COVID-positive patient.”

“Again, this means that for 98 percent of the facilities, the admission did not introduce COVID-19 into the nursing home because it was already present,” the Department asserted.

The news coincides with Melissa DeRosa, New York’s secretary to the governor, admitting that the administration covered up nursing home data out of fear of a federal investigation by the Trump administration.

“Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” DeRosa said, apologizing to the Democrats on the call.

“I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair. It was not our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans,” she added.

New York is now reporting nearly 15,000 coronavirus-related deaths in long-term care facilities, “up from the 8,500 previously disclosed,” as the AP reported.


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