New York facing increased scrutiny for sending 4,300 COVID-19 patients to nursing homes

by Peter Heck · May 22nd, 2020 10:04 am

According to a tally compiled by the Associated Press, at least 4,300 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York nursing homes in compliance with the state's March 25 order.

That directive was eventually rescinded when it appeared to accelerate the spread of the disease among a vulnerable population that even Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who supported the policy, had identified as "the optimum feeding ground for this virus."

The New York Health Department had initiated the plan which specified, "no resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the [nursing home]" solely based on COVID-19, in order to free up hospital beds should they become needed as the pandemic worsened.

Facing increased scrutiny for the decision, Cuomo denied that it contributed to New York having the deadliest outbreak in nursing and adult care facilities in the country, saying those facilities should have complained if they had an issue with it.

"Any nursing home could just say, ‘I can't handle a COVID person in my facility,'"he said.

Daniel Arbeeny, who pulled his 88-year-old father out a Brooklyn nursing home after 50 residents had died, saw his father later die of COVID-19.

"This isn't rocket science," Arbeeny said. "We knew the most vulnerable — the elderly and compromised — are in nursing homes and rehab centers."

New York suffered a 5,800 patient death toll in their nursing and adult care facilities, far worse than any other state.


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