The first Corona Virus patients admitted to a Queens nursing home beneath a controversial state mandate arrived alongside with some grim equipment — a provide of body bags, The Post has discovered.
An government on the facility — which was beforehand freed from the lethal illness — mentioned the bags had been within the cargo of private protecting tools acquired the identical day the home was pressured to start treating two individuals discharged from hospitals with COVID-19.
“My colleague observed that one of many containers was extraordinarily heavy. Curious as to what may probably be making that specific field a lot heavier than the remaining, he opened it,” the exec instructed The Post Thursday.
“The first two Corona Virus patients had been accompanied by 5 body bags.”
Within days, three of the bags had been crammed with the primary of 30 residents who would die there after Gov. Cuomo’s Health Department handed down its March 25 directive that bars nursing properties from refusing to admit “medically steady” Corona Virus patients, the exec mentioned.
Like clockwork, the nursing home has acquired 5 body bags per week — each week — from metropolis officers.
“Cuomo has blood on his palms. He actually does. There’s no method to sugarcoat this,” the well being care government added.
“Why on the planet would you be sending Corona Virus patients to a nursing home, the place probably the most susceptible inhabitants to this illness resides?”
Since March 25, the Queens nursing home has admitted 17 patients from hospitals who examined optimistic for Corona Virus, however in a bitter irony most of them have fared effectively, the exec mentioned. Those who’ve died handed away with out a check or whereas awaiting the outcomes from one.
“The remainder of the individuals are dropping like flies — actually like flies — and most of them have been with us for years,” the exec added.
COVID-19 has killed a minimum of 3,540 residents of New York’s nursing properties and grownup care services as of Wednesday, in accordance to the newest state Health Department knowledge.
The Queens story is painfully repeating at a Manhattan nursing home.
Administrators there instructed The Post they’ve additionally acquired body bags in weekly shipments of provides, which City Hall confirmed the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene was distributing to nursing properties.
One of the Manhattan directors mentioned the state’s admission mandate got here with no warning and even time to put together services for an inflow of Corona Virus patients, who the state says should be quarantined inside nursing properties and handled by separate staffers.
“By the time I even acquired to the work the subsequent day, I had cellphone calls, emails from nearly each hospital within the space,” the administrator mentioned. Previously, the particular person added, the power had required “two unfavourable check outcomes earlier than we’d even take into account taking somebody into the constructing.”
Officials at each nursing properties declined to have their names revealed as a result of they feared retribution from Cuomo, who regulates them. The Post reviewed emails, state regulatory orders, different public paperwork and spoke to 5 workers throughout the 2 services to verify their tales.
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi referred to as the “blood on his palms” remark concerning the governor “disgusting” and accused nursing home operators of “attempting to deflect from their failures.”
He vowed state officers had been “going to get to the underside” of the excessive loss of life depend in nursing properties, the place Cuomo has mentioned COVID-19 spreads “like hearth via dry grass.”
Earlier, Cuomo mentioned that if a nursing home can’t correctly quarantine and deal with the patients they had been supposed to transfer them to different services or ask the Health Dept. to organize a switch.
But the March 25 mandate doesn’t element how and state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker mentioned he was not conscious that DOH had acquired any switch requests.
“That is the rule and that’s the regulation they usually have to comply with that,” Cuomo mentioned on the Corona Virus briefing in Albany.
“And the regulation is widespread sense: in case you can’t present satisfactory care, you possibly can’t have the affected person in your facility and that’s your primary fiduciary obligation — I might say, moral obligation — and it’s additionally your authorized obligation.”
“Now, when an individual will get transferred, they lose a affected person, they lose that income, I perceive, however the relationship is, the contract is, ‘You have this resident, you receives a commission, you will need to present satisfactory care,’” he mentioned.
Cuomo additionally doubled down on his comment a day earlier that “it’s not our job” to present nursing properties with private protecting tools, saying, “We have given them 1000’s and 1000’s of PPE.”
“It’s their major accountability prefer it’s a hospital’s major accountability. And hospitals bumped into issues, nursing properties bumped into issues.”
“This is a nationwide story, proper? Turn on the nationwide information any given time, and you’ve got individuals saying ‘We can’t get sufficient PPE,’ proper?” he added.
A member of Cuomo’s Corona Virus Task Force — SUNY-Empire State College President Jim Malatras — mentioned the state had distributed 417,000 surgical grade masks, 101,000 robes, 85,000 face shields, 422,000 gloves and 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to nursing properties over the past two weeks.