Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

New York coronavirus numbers continue to fall

Rear view of people social distancing sitting along the East River, enjoying a sunny blue sky view of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and One World Trade Center. Photo by @RLTheis via Twenty20

New York  is back to where it started. The number of hospitalizations and new cases of coronavirus are down. 

“Where we are today is basically, with the number of new cases, is basically right where we were when we started. It has been a painful period of time between March 20 to May 9,” said Cuomo.

There are 521 new cases of coronavirus reported on Saturday and 207 deaths, said Cuomo. Today, the same amount of deaths are seen since the number of deaths began to go up on March 27.

One of the top priorities is to protect nursing homes and seniors. The state will implement additional steps to protect nursing home residents. 

“This is where this virus feeds, it’s where the virus started,” said Cuomo . “The most vulnerable population deserves the highest level of care.”

He said a nursing home can only serve a resident if they are fully capable of providing the level of individual care. Nursing homes must contact the New York State Department of Health to transfer residents if the nursing home does not have the staff, facilities or equipment to treat them. Also, all nursing home staff must now be tested twice a week for the coronavirus. 

“That is not just a temperature text, that is a diagnostic test,” said Cuomo. “We have the tests available, we have brought them online.”

Hospitals cannot discharge a patient to a nursing home unless the patient tests negative for coronavirus.

“We have alternative facilities for nursing home patients, COVID or non-COVID,” said Cuomo. “If a nursing home can not take care of a person, we have facilities that can.”

If the nursing home operator will lose their license if it fails to follow these procedures.

“Having someone’s parent, mother or brother in a situation where they are in a facility where they can’t even get a visitor, they’re isolated, they feel alone, and they’re not getting the appropriate care, that is what is harsh.” said Cuomo. “If that’s what happens, then that facility operator should lose their license.”

Some of the safety measures that have previously been implemented are restricting visitation, PPE for staff, and requiring all staff to be checked for symptoms. Facilities have also been required to notify all residents and family members within 24 hours of a positive test or death.

“This virus uses nursing homes, they are ground zero, they are the vulnerable population in the vulnerable location,” said Cuomo .

New York has the highest population of nursing home residents of any state in the country with 101,518 residents. Despite New York having the most nursing home residents, it is rated the 34th state on nursing homes deaths. 

 


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