The New York Times reported yesterday that nearly 2,000 nursing home residents in New York died as Coronavirus continues to ravage the elderly nursing home population in the area. The article stated that the facilities knew that frail and aging residents were especially vulnerable to the outbreak, but they were unable to stop it.
The stories reported show just how dire the situation is. At Crown Heights for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Brooklyn, a room at the nursing home was converted into a "makeshift morgue" when 15 residents died of Covid-19 at the home and the funeral homes were overloaded.
At the Upper East Side Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Manhattan, the two daughters of two residents there who died of Covid-19 within minutes of each other, felt helpless as they had been unable to see their mothers for weeks before they died. One of the daughters reportedly attempted to take her mother out of the facility, but was told by the nursing home, "don't worry, everything will be fine".
It was previously reported that many nursing homes fall short on infection prevention, contributing to the heightened problems nursing homes have with regard to Covid-19.
The Times pointed out that coronavirus has rampaged through nursing homes more than anywhere else, due to an elderly resident population with co-morbidities or serious pre-existing medical issues, the incessant issue of nursing home owners and operators failing to provide enough and sufficient nursing staff, nursing homes failing to have sufficient protective masks and gloves for staff and residents, constant physical contact (touching in close proximity) between nursing staff and nursing home residents, amongst other concerns.
It was further reported that the number of nursing home deaths and cases is likely largely under-reported, and substantially more, being that nursing homes lack the capability to sufficiently test the residents.
Nursing home operators in New York were admittedly overwhelmed and ill-equipped to handle the outbreak, and were not able to sufficiently test residents in order to properly isolate the virus, and were also not properly equipped to provide staff and residents with protective gear to stop or slow the cross-infection from one to the other. The head of ArchCare, the operator of five New York nursing homes, expressed the unfairness that nursing home residents were not being treated with the same respect and resources that everyone else is.
On the other hand, patient or resident's advocates blamed the nursing home owners and stated that they were negligent and made things worse by cutting the nursing home staff to minimum levels.
Today, the New York Post reported that the number of nursing home deaths has now reached 3,300 in an alarming increase since the day before. However, experts believe the true count of nursing home deaths is much higher and underreported, as most states do not count those who died without ever being tested for COVID-19.
Contact a New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you have concerns about an elderly loved one and believe his or her injuries may be the result of nursing home abuse, you should speak with a New York nursing home negligence lawyer about filing a claim. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC to learn more about your options and how to keep your elderly loved one safe.