Apr 18, 2020 - Health

Cuomo: Nursing homes are a "feeding frenzy" for coronavirus

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo briefs reporters on April 17 in Albany, New York. Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

"Nursing homes are the single biggest fear in all of this. Vulnerable people in one place. It is the feeding frenzy for this virus," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press briefing on Saturday.

What's happening: Outside of inpatient health care settings, the CDC has recorded the largest chunk of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. emerging from nursing homes and long-term care facilities, per data released on Friday.

  • Adults aged 75 to 85 years and older account for most virus-related deaths tracked by the CDC.
  • Adults aged 65-74 years are also at a higher risk.

The big picture: Older people and those with underlying medical conditions, like diabetes and heart or lung disease, "seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19," the CDC warns.

  • Over 12,000 people have died in New York from the coronavirus, per the state health department.
  • Yes, but: New York City's health department is reporting 3,306 more fatalities than the state as a whole, due to newly added "probable deaths" that include patients with COVID-19 listed on their death certificate who did not test positive for the virus.

What he's saying: "Let's remember, nursing homes are privately run facilities, for the most part," Cuomo said of those in New York, emphasizing the city doesn't monitor details of how elderly care facilities decide communication or visitation policies amid the coronavirus.

  • "If there is a complaint that a nursing home is non-responsive, then we will go to that nursing home and follow up," Cuomo added.

Of note: The CDC's analysis of U.S. fatalities will improve over time, as more data is gathered. This data only represents information collected from February to April 11.

  • Deaths recorded by the CDC's national system rely on completed death certificates, which can take anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks to be fully processed.

Go deeper: At least 5,670 nursing home residents have died from coronavirus

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U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: Over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Nearly 354,000 Americans have recovered and over 15.1 million tests have been conducted. California became the fourth state with at least 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

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Why it matters: Shutting down elective medical care may have been necessary, particularly in coronavirus hotspots, but will have lasting effects on some patients.

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