DOH report blames nursing home staff for coronavirus infections

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ALBANY, NY – The New York State Department of Health has a new report out looking at the causes of coronavirus infections in nursing homes across the state.

As NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca shows us, the report blames nursing home staff and not the state’s policy that forced the facilities to accept COVID patients.

The report found that more than 37,000 nursing home staff were infected with the coronavirus between March to early June.

That accounts to about one in four nursing home workers.

“The correlation is between what happened between community-wide infection and staff infection were the more prevalent reasons why there were fatalities in nursing homes. But it was not because of a directive on March 25th.”

That order required nursing homes to re-admit COVID positive patients unless, they could not provide adequate care.

The department’s analysis found that:

“Peak nursing home admissions occurred a week after peak nursing home mortality, therefore illustrating that nursing home admissions from hospitals were not a driver of nursing home infections or fatalities.”

“The March 25th guidance was not the driving factor in nursing home deaths.”

In a response to today’s press conference the President of the NYS Health Facilities Association and the NYS Center for Assisted Living said:

“At the onset of the COVID-19 virus, nursing homes and assisted living facilities were not the top priority. The principal focus of policymakers was on bolstering hospital resources and ramping up hospital bed capacity. This strategy included the Department of Health’s March 25th Advisory‚Ķ”

Department of Health analysis from the report also found that the quality of a nursing home was “not a factor” in fatalities and that “most patients admitted to nursing homes from hospitals were no longer contagious when admitted.”

Several Republicans have called for an independent investigation into the coronavirus in nursing homes over the past weeks.

In Albany, Corina Cappabianca.

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