Displaying items by tag: COVID19

Governor Cuomo Has Defended The State's Reporting Of Nursing Home Deaths

Amid allegations that New York coronavirus deaths in nursing homes were under reported, Governor Andrew Cuomo says they were only “delayed”.
Within hours of the report's release, the state came out with new data that showed an additional 3,800 deaths — nursing home residents who died in hospitals. More than 15,000 people have died from coronavirus in the state's nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

"All the deaths in the nursing homes and in the hospitals were always fully, publicly and accurately reported," Cuomo said. "The numbers were the numbers. Always."

How bad was the under-reporting? The New York Governor said Monday that everything reported was accurate though delayed. However the state attorney general last month said the death toll was much higher, possibly 50% higher.


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Why The Delay In Reporting Nursing Home Deaths From Covid-19?

Governor Cuomo said Monday that the state had released the numbers it had immediate access to at the time. That delay was in part due to the state's dealing with a federal inquiry by the Department of Justice, Cuomo said. Health officials decided to focus on that data request before responding to state lawmakers' request for more information. The governor said, "We paused the state legislature's request while we were finishing the DOJ request".
A top aide to Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, said to state lawmakers that "we froze" when asked for the true number of nursing home deaths, worrying they would be "used against us" by a hostile White House administration, the. The governor's office later confirmed that report.

"Everyone was busy…We're in the midst of managing a pandemic. There was a delay in providing the press and the public all that additional information." - Governor Andrew Cuomo

Other Nursing Home Reporting Issues Dogging Cuomo

Cuomo has also faced criticism in recent days after an Associated Press report found that, in the early days of the pandemic, New York sent more than 9,000 recovering coronavirus patients from hospitals back into nursing homes.

A report by the New York DOH (New York State Department of Health) seemed to defend the Governor claiming the readmissions did not contribute to the spread of coronavirus in nursing homes. "These patients could not have been responsible for introducing COVID into their nursing home, as they had COVID prior to going to the hospital for treatment and before being readmitted," the report said. Also in the report, a claim that "most patients" readmitted to nursing homes were likely no longer infectious at that point.



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Who Should Get Emergency Approved COVID-19 Vaccine First

An Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, along with representatives from federal science agencies and the health care industry, voted during an emergency meeting online who should get the COVID-19 vaccine first once authorized for use.

The 14 voting members of the committee recommended the first vaccines should be given to to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, long term care homes such as AFC’s and assisted living facilities.

Once a vaccine is authorized for use, most people in these high-priority groups could be fully vaccinated by early next year if a vaccine or vaccines are available by mid-December 2020 as expected.

The CDC estimates that 48 million doses will be needed to vaccinate these groups, which account for about 24 million people.

Health care workers have long been considered to be first in line because they are exposed directly to COVID-19 through their work, and because protecting them and their patients from the virus would help reduce the spread of the coronavirus and keep the health system running. - NPR Morning Edition

However a controversy arose as to whether to add nursing home residents and other long-term care facility residents to the initial priority group. Staff members at such facilities are considered health care workers. Then in a public meeting last week, members of the committee agreed that the death toll in this population, a subgroup of the over-65 category, has been severe. Staff and residents at long-term care facilities represent just 6% of confirmed coronavirus cases but account for nearly 40% of COVID-19 deaths. They were added in the recommendation.


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For related information visit these links:

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

Phased Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines


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In April, 2020, Executive Order 2020-50 (EO 2020-50) established Regional Hubs to care for COVID-19 residents discharging from a hospital or transferring from a nursing facility (NF) if the originating facility was not equipped to care for the resident.


The bulletin is addressed to Medicaid-certified Nursing Facilities including: Assisted Living Facilities, Adult Foster Care Homes, Homes for the Aged. It identifies "Minimum Participation Criteria" for each type of facility. It also outlines standards that each seleced CRC must meet to participate.

In circumstances when an individual meets Medicaid NF level of care, MDHHS will consider CRC admissions from other long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, homes for the aged, and adult foster care homes on a case-by-case basis.

You can read and print out the entire bulletin at Bulletin Number:MSA 20-72