Battle rages on at nursing homes, long-term care facilities as COVID-19 curve begins to flatten

As the coronavirus curve begins to flatten, the battle is far from over in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

News 12 Staff

Apr 20, 2020, 9:09 PM

Updated 1,493 days ago

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As the coronavirus curve begins to flatten, the battle is far from over in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
The latest data shows that a quarter of COVID-19 deaths in New York are in these facilities.
Gloria Wilburn lost her husband to COVID-19 last week. She says she's upset that Sarah Neuman Jewish Home in Mamaroneck has been accepting coronavirus patients.
"It's criminal, and I hope that something is done about this," she says.
The nursing home tells News 12 it is helping the community "by caring for COVID-19 patients, including those we admit from our hospital partners."
At Yonkers Gardens, another nursing home, a staff member who asked to remain anonymous says the facility took in more COVID-19 patients than it can handle.
"Residents in the building with COVID were also roomed with non-COVID patients," said the staff member.
In late-March, the state Department of Health mandated that residents can't be denied admission to nursing homes based on "confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19."
NYS Health Facilities Association, which oversees nursing homes and assisted living facilities, tells News 12 from Day 1 the state's focus was the hospitals.
"It did not seem that nursing homes were the No. 1 priority," says Stephen Hanse, president & CEO of NYS Health Facilities Association.
As the curve flattens, Hanse says the fast-moving virus has drained nursing homes of supplies and manpower.
"We need sufficient staffing. We need PPE. We need testing. These three elements throughout this we have emphasized and will continue to emphasize as we fight this battle," he says.
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