New York nursing home death toll could be a significant undercount

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NEW YORK – The number of coronavirus deaths in New York City in nursing homes, already among the highest in the country, could in fact be a significant undercount.Unlike all other states with major epidemics, New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property and not those who died in hospitals.

The statistic could add thousands to the state’s official nursing home death toll of just over 6,600. But Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration has so far refused to disclose the figure, which has led to speculation that New York is manipulating the numbers to make it look better than other states.

Lawmakers in both Democratic and Republican states recently spoke to the state’s health commissioner about the high, though ultimately unknown, death toll in state nursing homes.

There have been two hearings aimed at understanding why COVID-19 has claimed the lives of thousands of vulnerable residents of New York City nursing homes.

Lawmakers have said they hope to adopt better policies to protect residents and staff of nursing homes in the event of an upsurge in infections.



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