Critics say data proves New York’s liability shield is linked to higher nursing home death rates during the pandemic
Military personnel sent to nursing homes in Ontario have observed shocking conditions, including “blatant disregard” for infection control measures, mistreatment of residents and a level of care described as “horrible,” according to documents obtained by Global News.
Nearly half of new cases in May were registered at nursing homes.
The most recent ISS weekly study, based on a sample of about 10% of fatalities until May 21, also showed that just 124 victims, or 4.1% of the total, had no previous pathology. Almost 60% of victims suffered from at least three prior illnesses and about a fifth had two conditions.
The Macomb County republican says Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order required all long-term care facilities at less than 80% capacity to create COVID19 units and accept patients. Now he’s asking Michigan’s Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney for Michigan’s Eastern District to investigate whether that endangered nursing home residents.
“Why did we have this order, when medical personnel themselves are saying that the most unsafe position you could put the ones who are vulnerable in is bringing COVID into the facility,” said Lucido.
The Macomb County lawmaker on Monday called for the probe into the governor’s Executive Orders 2020-50 and 2020-84, which mandate all long-term facilities in the state at less than 80% capacity to create COVID-19 units and accept and retain patients diagnosed with the new coronavirus.
„Why would we bring infected people into a facility that is set up to care for the elderly,“ Lucido said Tuesday. „Nursing homes were never set up to care for COVID-19 patients. Nursing homes don’t have the proper medical equipment, ventilators, or medical personnel to care for them.“
The group, many in wheelchairs, brought a coffin — which police seized. Officers warned demonstrators to disperse, and they did, about an hour after arriving. As they left, they chanted “we will be back.”
Chicago ADAPT urged Pritzker to declare an emergency at long-term care facilities and use the National Guard to move residents to hotels and other locations where better social distancing is possible.
New York’s coronavirus nursing home death toll is staggering, and in some upstate counties, more than three-quarters of virus-related deaths can be linked to elder care facilities.
In Warren and Yates counties, 100% of deaths were linked to nursing homes, and in Tioga County, 95% of deaths are linked to one facility.
At least 83 of the state’s 140 coronavirus deaths — or nearly six in 10 — are now associated with senior care facilities, up from 78 the week before. Cases grew by about 13 percent during that time, from 480 to 545.
Most of the deaths appear to be residents, though state officials have not released that information for all facilities.
With 401 deaths, nursing homes make up 55% of the state’s 728 coronavirus-related deaths, according to the report.
Many states, including New York, came under fire for a policy requiring nursing homes to admit COVID-19 positive patients. Data shows that Minnesota now has 81.4% of deaths from long term care facilities and assisted living centers.
Minnesota’s Department of Health did so to lower the risk of overwhelming hospitals with COVID-19 patients.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Nursing home residents continue to make up the vast majority of coronavirus-related deaths in Ohio, according to new Department of Health statistics.
Gavin Newsom (D) CA
Andrew Cuomo (D) NY
Gretchen Whitmer (D) MI
Tom Wolf (D) PA
“It was the single dumbest decision anyone could make if they wanted to kill people,” Daniel Arbeeny said of the directive, which prompted him to pull his 88-year-old father out of a Brooklyn nursing home where more than 50 people have died. His father later died of COVID-19 at home.
Petition and email campaigns warned introducing COVID patients to nursing homes put vulnerable residents at risk.
Cuomo rescinded the order on May 10, and this week blamed the original policy on the Trump administration.
“Why did the state do that with COVID patients in nursing homes?” said the governor. “It’s because the state followed President Trump’s CDC guidelines.
According to Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, nearly half of the country’s 1,600 COVID-19 deaths are linked to these homes.
What would you have done differently?
We underestimated the issues at care homes, and how the measures would be applied. We should have controlled this more thoroughly. By contrast, the health system, which is under unusual pressure, has nevertheless always been ahead of the curve.
Are you satisfied with the strategy?
Yes! We know that COVID-19 is extremely dangerous for very old people, which is of course bad. But looking at pandemics, there are much worse scenarios than this one. Most problems that we have right now are not because of the disease, but because of the measures that in some environments have not been applied properly: the deaths among older people is a huge problem and we are fighting hard.
A lockdown might not have saved lives in Sweden because half its coronavirus deaths are in care homes where visits are already banned, the country’s top disease expert said today.
State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said it was ‚hard to understand‘ how a full-scale lockdown would have stopped the virus spreading into nursing homes.
While Sweden has avoided introducing a lockdown, it has banned visitors from care homes in one of its few restrictive measures, with schools, bars, shops and restaurants still open.
Coronavirus is likely to result in a high mortality rate in care homes, England’s chief medical officer has said.
Chris Whitty said it was hard to prevent deaths in care homes „sadly because this is a very vulnerable group“.
Current statistics were likely to be an „underestimate“, he added.
Sally Copley, Director of Policy, Campaigns and Partnerships at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
“The true impact of the coronavirus in care homes is becoming increasingly clear, and that’s why we’re demanding swift Government action. With the further report today of a possible 2000 deaths just over Easter weekend, this is a frightening time for everyone with relatives with dementia in care homes. People with dementia’s lives matter, and every death is a terrible loss to a grieving family.
“We hear daily from desperately concerned families who want to know that the Government is doing all it can to keep people in care homes safe, and it is good to hear that the CQC is actively booking testing appointments for care staff.
Our leaders have told us to stay home- to shelter in place. Yet for many of the 1.5 million elderly nursing home residents, the home has become an unsafe and sometimes dangerous place.
Yet on February 25, Public Health England guidance said: “It remains very unlikely people receiving care in a care home or the community will be infected.”
Dave Prentis, head of Unison which represents many care workers, urged the Government to “get its act together” to save lives.
Practitioners complain that patients have been discharged from hospitals into care homes, potentially while infected, and staff report shortages of personal protective equipment, with the result that carers might have been left to spread the disease and fall ill themselves. Earlier this week, Matt Hancock said that 15 care workers were known to have died in England.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday launched an investigation into nursing homes‘ conduct during the COVID-19 outbreak, which has left more than 3,500 residents of long-term care facilities dead since the start of March.
The state Department of Health and Attorney General Letitia James will co-lead the investigation, which will focus on whether nursing homes and adult-care facilities appropriately followed state law and regulation as the coronavirus went on its torrid spread in New York.
In a press briefing on Thursday, WHO Europe director Dr. Hans Kluge said a “deeply concerning picture” was emerging of the impact of COVID-19 on long-term homes for the elderly, where care has “often been notoriously neglected.” Kluge said health workers in such facilities were often overworked and underpaid and called for them to be given more protective gear and support, describing them as the “unsung heroes” of the pandemic.