New York State has received substantial criticism for a controversial decision to move recovering coronavirus patients to nursing homes as a means of alleviating pressure on hospitals. According to the Associated Press, more than 4,500 patients recovering from COVID-19 were moved into nursing homes in New York State, due to a policy that has since been reversed by Governor Cuomo. The tally is a mere estimate however, as the New York State Department of Health has yet to release its own numbers.
The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a highly infectious disease that has wreaked havoc on healthcare systems across the United States. New York became a notable hot spot for the disease, accounting for approximately one quarter of all coronavirus infectious throughout the country. Of those infections, about a third occurred because of infections among nursing home patients and staff, despite efforts to contain the virus.
While some of the spread can be attributed to failures in infectious disease control at certain facilities, some are now blaming this policy for the extraordinary spread of the coronavirus among New York’s most vulnerable citizens. This is because the coronavirus can spread from an infected person, even if they are not currently displaying visible symptoms of the disease. As a result, many healthcare officials fear that moving these recovering COVID patients from hospitals to nursing homes worked against containing the disease, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.
In justifying the policy, the Cuomo administration said that its primary concern when it first implemented the policy in March was making sure there was enough hospital space for coronavirus patients. However, the move appears to have ultimately been counterproductive, as it exposed more people to the virus and resulted in greater death. This is likely why the policy was finally reversed on May 10, far too late for many nursing home patients who were exposed to the coronavirus.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or illness due to the negligent conduct of a nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s important to get the legal representation you need to remedy the situation and get compensation for the harm you and your loved ones have suffered. The lawyers at Levine and Slavit, PLLC are experienced in representing New York City and Long Island residents in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. To schedule a free consultation, contact our New York City nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at (212) 687-2777 or for our Long Island nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers call (516) 294-8282.