- An executive at an unnamed Queens, New York nursing home told the New York Post on Thursday how officials sent them body bags when they were forced to admit coronavirus patients last month.
- Thirty residents at the previously virus-free facility went on to die from the disease.
- It’s the latest in a series of concerning incidents to happen in the city during the outbreak, including hospitals leaving bodies out on the street and patients across the city dying at home.
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When a New York City nursing home was forced to admit coronavirus patients late last month, public health officials also gave them a box of body bags, in a concerning incident reported by the New York Post on Thursday.
An executive at the unnamed Queens nursing home says that the facility was coronavirus-free until Gov. Andrew Cuomo forced facilities in the state to accept coronavirus patients on March 25.
Following the order, the nursing home took in two residents who had been recently discharged from local hospitals after COVID-19 infections, and were stable.
When they took in these patients, officials sent them a box of personal protection equipment for the staff designated to treat these residents, and in the same box was a supply of body bags, the executive said.
“My colleague noticed that one of the boxes was extremely heavy. Curious as to what could possibly be making that particular box so much heavier than the rest, he opened it,” the executive told the Post. “The first two coronavirus patients were accompanied by five body bags.”
This nursing home went on to see 30 people die of the coronavirus in the following weeks. And every week they get five more body bags.
“Cuomo has blood on his hands. He really does. There’s no way to sugarcoat this,” the executive added. “Why in the world would you be sending coronavirus patients to a nursing home, where the most vulnerable population to this disease resides?”
Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for the governor, called the comment “disgusting” in a response to the Post, saying these facilities were “trying to deflect from their failures.”
When Cuomo announced the order last month, he said that nursing homes had a duty to take these patients, calling it their “basic fiduciary obligation.”
This is the latest in a series of disturbing incidents to happen in the city during the coronavirus outbreak.
Late last month, Business Insider reported on videos showing the bodies of coronavirus victims being left out on the street in front of hospitals, and a forklift being used to load them into freezer trucks.
With New Yorkers encouraged to stay away from hospitals unless they are seriously ill, many have ended up dying at home, skewing the city’s official death counts.
A fight prompted by social-distancing rules ended in the death of an 86-year-old woman at a Brooklyn hospital late last month. Janie Marshall, who had dementia, lost her balance and grabbed onto another patient’s IV pole.
That patient, 32-year-old Cassandra Lundy, got angry at Marshall for getting close to her, and shoved the woman to the floor. Marshall hit her head and died three hours later, according to The New York Times.
With so many calls coming into 911, first responders are now under orders not even to try and resuscitate cardiac arrest patients if they don’t have a pulse when they get to the scene, according to the Post.