New York has been hit badly by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with over 8,600 deaths as of April 11. Of these, more than 2,000 victims were nursing home residents.
This number will only increase if nursing homes fail to take necessary precautions against coronavirus. Nursing home residents are in the high-risk group for coronavirus due to advanced age, compromised immune systems, or underlying conditions. Housing in close quarters also increases the chances of outbreaks at nursing homes.
Fairview Rehab and Nursing Home
On April 10, the Gothamist reported that a majority of the 200 residents at Fairview Rehab and Nursing Home in Queens had pressure sores from not being moved in days. The same article reported shortages of essential medical supplies, including medication, gloves, hand sanitizer, and stethoscopes. It’s difficult for many nursing homes to get coronavirus tests because of nation-wide shortages, which means that the nursing home cannot be certain about how many residents are infected.
Nursing homes now account for more than 17 percent of all fatalities statewide. The situation is made worse since many nursing homes don’t even have the required number of trained professionals. At Fairview, nursing assistants fresh out of school are being given high-level tasks above their experience level.
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Sapphire Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing
At the Sapphire Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing of Central Queens, 29 residents were confirmed dead due to COVID-19 as of April 17. Workers at the nursing home say that the actual toll is much higher at around 60 residents.
Family members of residents are not even being told if there is a coronavirus outbreak in a facility, or if any staff or residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The state of New York is also not releasing the names or locations of nursing homes which have coronavirus outbreaks and deaths.
A Grave Situation
The arrival of COVID-19 in a nursing facility, Governor Andrew Cuomo observed late last month, “can be like fire through dry grass.” New York has more than 620 nursing homes, a cause for grave concern given the quick spread of COVID-19 in the state. Nursing homes need to take more care of their elderly residents and ensure that they convey the right information to the family members of residents.
What You Can Do to Help
This is a scary time for anyone with a family member at a nursing home. Try to maintain regular communication with your loved ones via calls or video chats. If they don’t have a phone or the ability to communicate via phone, call the home and ask a staff member to help. Ensure that you are in contact with nursing home staff to receive updates about the health condition of your loved ones. Check whether the nursing home has a COVID-19 plan in place and plan for your loved one.
If your loved one tells you they are feeling sick, ensure that the nursing home is screening for coronavirus and taking due care and precautions according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) guidelines for nursing homes.
Know that our firm is here for you 24/7, and we’re honored to continue serving you as always during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reach out to us at (800) 794-0444.