New York Times (June 3)
The pandemic death toll in such facilities has plummeted from a peak of 5,000 a week to less than 300.
New York Enters $2.5M Taxpayer Contract For Governor’s Nursing Home Scandal Probe.
The Albany (NY) Times Union (6/2, Bragg) reports, “OpenBookNY.com, a website maintained by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office, which discloses information about state contracts” shows “taxpayers will spend up to $2.5 million defending Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office in a federal investigation examining its alleged suppression of figures showing the true number of nursing home deaths from COVID-19.” One contract “states that the DOJ and ‘other law enforcement or investigative entities’ have made inquiries and requests for information related to the Executive Chamber’s COVID-19 pandemic response, including related to nursing homes.’”
Nursing Homes Still Facing COVID-19 Outbreaks Despite Vaccine Rollout.
The AP (6/1, Haigh) reports, “COVID-19 vaccines have allowed nursing homes in the U.S. to make dramatic progress since the dark days of the pandemic, but senior care facilities are still experiencing scattered outbreaks that are largely blamed on unvaccinated staff members.” The COVID-19 “outbreaks and ensuing shutdowns have jolted family members who were just starting to enjoy in-person visits with loved ones for the first time in a year.” Although “the outbreaks inside nursing homes now are much smaller, less frequent and less severe than during the height of the pandemic, there continue to be hundreds of deaths each week attributed to the coronavirus.”
Newsweek (6/1, Klapper) reports data show “the number of nursing home deaths related to COVID-19 is down from 10,675 in the first two weeks of January to 472 in the first two weeks of May.” The CDC “warned that low rates of vaccination among health care workers in nursing homes [raise] the risk of outbreaks.”
Seattle Times (May 30)
In Washington’s long-term care facilities, COVID cases and deaths have plummeted, but numbers are ticking up
The sharp decline in outbreaks, attributable largely to widespread vaccination, is welcome news to the state’s nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and adult family homes. These sites have borne the brunt of the deadly virus, accounting for more than half the state’s COVID-19 deaths since the first cases in the U.S. were confirmed at a Kirkland nursing home. Residents now can move in and out of buildings, and indoor visits have resumed after a year of social isolation. Over the past few weeks, however, cases have begun ticking up again, according to data from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. As of Wednesday, 154 facilities in Washington reported at least one active COVID-19 case in the past two weeks. Health officials, advocates and site operators cite staff vaccine hesitancy and new, unvaccinated residents moving into buildings and bringing in the virus. The cases, they say, also underscore that even among a largely vaccinated population, when an infection makes its way into a congregate-care setting, it can spread rapidly.
AARP (May 27)
More workers are getting inoculated, and others are losing their jobs.
Stateline (May 26)
In many nursing homes, there just weren’t enough workers—many of them were sick or terrified themselves—to care for so many critically ill and dying residents. Now that the pandemic is finally loosening its grip, New York and several other states are setting higher standards for nursing home staffing.