ALBANY, NY – July 20, 2020 – The New York Department of Health recently produced a report explaining how the novel coronavirus, the viral strain responsible for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, infected nursing homes in New York State. The Department of Health concluded that visitors to nursing homes and healthcare workers brought the disease into nursing homes and long term healthcare facilities, according to the Insurance Journal. The physician who heads the New York Department of Health indicated that the lack of understanding among the medical community about how the disease could be transmitted and the extent to which the virus existed in the population as a whole allowed the virus to infect vulnerable populations.
The number of nursing home residents who experienced at least one infection in New York state is astounding. Approximately 37,500 nursing home and long term healthcare staff members tested positive for COVID-19 during the period between March of 2020 and mid-June 2020. During that time, 158,000 employees staffed facilities housing individuals who were vulnerable to COVID-19. During the same timeframe, approximately 33-percent of New York state’s long term healthcare and nursing homes had at least one person who fell ill with COVID-19. About 7,000 nursing home employees contracted the disease during March of 2020 alone.
The results of tests conducted by independent labs suggest that the number of nursing home employees who contracted the novel coronavirus was higher than the results obtained by the New York State Department of Health. In May of 2020, a lab called BioReference analyzed the serological results of 3,500 nursing home employees. The results indicated that 29 percent of the nursing home employees had antibodies from COVID-19. These numbers indicate that 45,820, or about one-third of all nursing home employees overall had COVID-19 in May alone.
The report generated by the New York State Department of Health attempted to dispel the suspicion that the COVID-19 infiltrated nursing homes in the state because Governor Cuomo ordered nursing homes to house COVID-19 patients who were released from the hospital.
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