May 5, 2020 - Health

New York reports 1,700 new coronavirus deaths in nursing homes

Medical workers preparing for a patient in a nursing home in Queens, New York.
Medical workers preparing for a patient in a nursing home in Queens, New York, on April 22. Photo: John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images

New York on Tuesday reported more than 1,700 previously undisclosed coronavirus deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities in the state, AP reports.

Why it matters: The new figures reveal a spike in nursing home deaths that includes people believed to have died from the coronavirus before their positive diagnosis could be confirmed.

  • At least 4,813 people died from the virus in New York nursing homes and care facilities since March 1, according to a count released by the state on Monday.
  • The exact number of nursing home and care facility deaths in the state is uncertain because the released tally does not include residents who were transferred to hospitals before dying.

By the numbers: The tally indicates that 22 nursing homes, largely in New York City and Long Island, have reported at least 40 deaths.

  • Parker Jewish Institute in Queens has reported the highest number of deaths with 71.

What they're saying: "I would take these numbers now with a grain of salt," Cuomo said in a press conference Tuesday. "I think they are going to change over time.

  • "Nursing homes, we said from day one, are the most vulnerable place, because it's old people — senior people — who are the vulnerable people in a congregate setting."

The big picture: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned early in the pandemic that older people and those with other health complications face a higher risk of dying from the virus.

  • Cuomo said he does not know what the state can do to better protect nursing home residents going forward.
  • "It's something we're studying. We're also doing an investigation with the attorney general to look at it."

Go deeper: Maryland to require coronavirus tests for all nursing home residents

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