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More than 6,300 virus patients sent to nursing homes under initial NY policy

New York hospitals released more than 6,300 recovering coronavirus patients into nursing homes during the height of the pandemic under a controversial, now-scrapped policy, according to a report from the New York State Health Department.

Posted: Jul 6, 2020 3:43 PM
Updated: Jul 6, 2020 5:21 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York hospitals released more than 6,300 recovering coronavirus patients into nursing homes during the height of the pandemic under a controversial, now-scrapped policy, according to a report from the New York State Health Department.

But state officials argued Monday that the policy was not to blame for one of the nation's highest nursing home death tolls.

They instead contended the virus’ spread through nursing homes was driven by more than 20,000 infected home staffers, many of whom kept going to work.

Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker said nursing home guidance and preparation was a health department priority since early on in the pandemic.

"From the beginning, New York State Department of Health undertook aggressive steps to prepare health care facilities, including nursing homes, to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19," said Zucker. "New York sent over 8.5 million pieces of PPE to the nursing homes around the state, we issued infection control guidance for health care facilities, generally and specifically nursing home guidance."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reversed the March 25 policy after nearly two months. To date, the state's care homes have tolled more than 6,400 coronavirus deaths. 

Sen. Jim Tedisco, R-49, released a statement regarding the health report, saying, in part, “I appreciate the work of the state health commissioner, who is appointed by the governor, but this report should not be the final word on this subject. Given the magnitude of deaths during this terrible crisis, the families need the truth about what happened and some degree of closure over the loss of their loved ones and that can only be achieved through complete and total transparency.”

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 421336

Reported Deaths: 32781
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City22806923586
Suffolk438441998
Nassau436902195
Westchester362331447
Rockland13949674
Orange11168491
Erie8918671
Monroe4976285
Dutchess4613153
Onondaga3585200
Albany2600128
Oneida2150115
Ulster207292
Niagara150098
Sullivan148948
Putnam144963
Broome113169
Schenectady106037
Rensselaer76630
Saratoga76017
Columbia54137
Madison41217
Ontario36134
Warren31233
Orleans29854
Steuben29842
Fulton29724
Greene29318
Genesee2775
Herkimer2744
St. Lawrence2634
Washington26014
Chautauqua2579
Oswego2533
Wayne2523
Tompkins2340
Chenango2166
Tioga19325
Montgomery1774
Livingston1768
Chemung1723
Cattaraugus1666
Cayuga1522
Jefferson1420
Clinton1284
Wyoming1185
Otsego1165
Delaware1054
Cortland950
Seneca903
Allegany801
Schoharie690
Yates577
Essex550
Franklin540
Lewis410
Schuyler220
Hamilton80
Unassigned00
Utica
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