Gov. Cuomo’s Order To House COVID Patients In Nursing Homes Scrutinized
Critics have called for investigations to see if the Cuomo administration's directive forcing nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients from hospitals created a dangerous environment that allowed the virus to quickly spread in New York. But state officials are fighting back. Meanwhile, visits to residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in parts of the country are slowly resuming and other nursing home news.
The New York Times:
Does Cuomo Share Blame For 6,200 Virus Deaths In N.Y. Nursing Homes?
The death toll inside New York’s nursing homes is perhaps one of the most tragic facets of the coronavirus pandemic: More than 6,400 residents have died in the state’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities, representing more than one-tenth of the reported deaths in such facilities across the country. What went wrong? The effort to answer that question has become politically charged, with Republican lawmakers using the deaths to try to undermine Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, who has largely been praised for helping New York State to rein in the outbreak. (Ferré-Sadurní and Harris, 7/8)
Strict Rules Apply, But Visitors Will Be Allowed Back In New York Nursing Homes
After months of prohibiting in-person visits to relatives in nursing homes amid COVID-19 fears, New York says it will begin easing those restrictions for facilities that are certified as virus-free. The change comes after the state — one of those hardest-hit by the virus — has seen thousands of deaths in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. (Neuman, 7/10)
Kaiser Health News:
Visits To Nursing Homes Resume In Half Of US States To The Relief Of Families
States across the country are beginning to roll back heart-wrenching policies instituted when the coronavirus pandemic began and allow in-person visits at nursing homes and assisted living centers, offering relief to frustrated families. For the most part, visitors are required to stay outside and meet relatives in gardens or on patios where they stay at least 6 feet apart, supervised by a staff member. Appointments are scheduled in advance and masks are mandated. Only one or two visitors are permitted at a time. (Graham, 7/13)
The New York Times:
A Health Worker Raised Alarms About The Coronavirus. Then He Lost His Job.
In February, he said the directors of the nursing home where he worked kept him from wearing a mask, fearing it would scare patients and their families. In March, he became infected and spoke out about the coronavirus spreading through the home. In May, he was fired amid claims that he had “damaged the company’s image.” (Bubola, 7/13)
Georgia Slow To Inspect Nursing Homes For Infection Control
As the coronavirus ravaged nursing homes across the country this spring, federal regulators directed Georgia and other states to conduct targeted infection-control inspections of every facility by July 31. But Georgia is one of the slowest to respond to the directive from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The latest CMS data shows that as of July 3, Georgia had completed 41 percent of the on-site inspections, even as more than 1,300 residents of long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19. (Schrade, 7/11)
New Orleans Times-Picayune:
An End In Sight? Coronavirus Reopening Pause Means More Isolation Time In Nursing Homes
As the first resident of her nursing home to be sickened and hospitalized with the coronavirus, Johannessen knows firsthand the frightening experience and the reasons for so many precautions. The coronavirus has created very real fears among her friends and neighbors given the startlingly high rate of death for people 65 years and older. But the isolation meant to protect older residents of assisted-living facilities, where the virus has killed 1,371 people as of July 6, is also taking a toll. (Umholtz, 7/12)
In related news on nursing and the elderly —
Nurses On COVID-19 Front Lines: How To Help Colleagues
While the headlines change and the numbers of those infected and dying dip and surge, most nurses on the frontlines of COVID-19 care are experiencing steady levels of stress, challenge, exhaustion, and perhaps despair. If you're a nurse who's not intimately involved with ICU, respiratory care, nursing homes or other areas hard hit by the pandemic, you may be in a good position to support and encourage nurse friends and colleagues who are. (Kennedy, 7/10)
How Elderly People Are Left Behind During Medical Care Rationing
With hospitals in places like Arizona running short on intensive care beds for coronavirus patients, health care officials must make critical decisions about which coronavirus patients get priority. Some older adults are worried that the odds are stacked against them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports people over 65 years old make up 80% of COVID-19 deaths. (O'Dowd, 7/10)