With the best of intentions, Governor Cuomo and his Health Commissioner have caused more harm and little good.
Just under seven weeks ago, NYS Governor Cuomo issued an addendum to his ongoing executive order regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. While many of the addendums made to this continuing order have been very beneficial in the state’s fight against the pandemic, this one was not. In fact, it has caused a great deal of harm that will cause ongoing issues for nursing homes, their patients and the families of those patients.
The addendum in question maintained that no nursing home or rehabilitation facility could turn away patients who had the Covid-19 virus or who had recently recovered from it. While the intention was admirable, that being to ensure that our older citizens get the care they need, it flew in the face of the fact that the great majority of Covid-19 deaths were among senior citizens with pre-existing conditions and compromised immune systems. The results, which were avoidable, have been disastrous.
Here is a brief timeline of some key moments in this situation:
- March 25th – Mandate issued by Gov Cuomo stating nursing homes could not refuse patients with Covid-19 being transferred from hospitals.
- April 5th – It is reported that Of the 21,640 Covid-19 deaths reported in New York State, 85% or 18,394 are among people 60 or older with 65% among seniors 70 and older.
- April 20th – During one of his daily briefings, Gov Cuomo is asked about the policy in the light of statistics showing that seniors with pre-existing conditions was one of the largest demographics in terms of death from Covid-19. The Governor said he was not aware that the policy worked that way.
- April 29th – It is reported that New York State allowed health care workers who tested positive for Covid-19 to continue to treat patients with Covid-19 at a nursing home located in Steuben County.
- May 5th – Updated statistics on Covid-19 deaths in New York State nursing homes is adjusted up by 1,700, bringing the total nursing home deaths in New York State since March 1st to 4,183. This total represents as much as one-fourth of the total New York State Covid-19 deaths.
- May 10th – Gov Cuomo reverses his previous decision, saying hospitals cannot release elderly patients to nursing homes who are infected with Covid-19.
Since the issuing of the addendum to the executive order, the Governor has seen his good intentions become publicity headaches for him and real-life tragedies that could lead to countless lawsuits. For the nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities, they face liability claims for any of their patients who died after contracting the virus from newly admitted patients. For the families of the deceased, they want answers as to why their loved ones died.
Sadly, where all of this will end up once the state has gained control over the virus is yet to be seen. There will be lawsuits, there will be investigations, and there will be a lot of anger. For those looking to get their senior relatives into nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities going forward, due diligence is vital in learning the capabilities of the facilities being considered as to how they can care for your loved one. The Virdone Law Firm is happy to help you with this process.