Cuomo administration underreported Covid deaths in nursing homes, report says

The New York Department of Health underreported Covid-19 deaths in nursing houses by as a lot as 50%, in keeping with a brand new report revealed Thursday by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The 76-page report comes after a months-long investigation by the lawyer common's workplace into allegations that nursing houses didn’t comply with coronavirus security protocols. Her workplace was additionally investigating discrepancies between the variety of nursing residence deaths reported by the state's division of well being and the variety of deaths reported by the services themselves.

The investigation discovered that the variety of Covid deaths amongst nursing residence residents in some services rose by greater than 50% when residents who died in the hospital are counted. The state's official Covid-19 dying toll in nursing houses excludes sufferers who died after being transported to a hospital.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has confronted criticism for failing to reveal the whole variety of nursing-home residents who’ve died of Covid-19. In her sweeping report, James, additionally a Democrat, discovered that "many nursing home residents died from Covid-19 in hospitals after being transferred from their nursing homes, which is not reflected in D.O.H.'s published total nursing home death data."

Representatives for Cuomo didn’t instantly reply to CNBC's request for touch upon the findings. Representatives for the state's division of well being additionally didn’t reply to CNBC's request for remark.

The lawyer common's findings put her immediately at odds with the governor, who has typically boasted in regards to the state's response to the coronavirus. Cuomo has additionally dismissed criticism of a well being division coverage that directed nursing houses to simply accept residents who had examined optimistic for the coronavirus. The governor has repeatedly defended his administration's response to the pandemic, saying that the state was poorly supported by a clumsy federal authorities caught off guard by the import of the virus.

In May, the federal authorities started to require nursing houses to submit knowledge on deaths attributable to the coronavirus each week, together with residents who died in the ability and at hospitals. But that directive got here after the preliminary peak of New York's outbreak, so the accessible knowledge from the state's nursing houses is scant. An Associated Press evaluation of federal knowledge revealed in August concluded that the state could possibly be understating the deaths by as a lot as 65%.

James' findings are based mostly on a survey of 62 nursing houses, or about 10% of nursing houses in the state. She stated her workplace continues to research discrepancies in the info reported by the division of well being and the numbers reported to the lawyer common's workplace.

The investigation additionally discovered that numerous nursing houses didn’t adjust to "critical infection control policies," equivalent to failing to isolate residents who examined optimistic for the virus.

"As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why the residents of nursing homes in New York unnecessarily suffered at such an alarming rate," James stated in an announcement. "While we cannot bring back the individuals we lost to this crisis, this report seeks to offer transparency that the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents."

Cuomo: New York to permit hospitals, group houses to simply accept guests at their discretionCoronavirus

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