New York – A New York City nursing home reported the deaths of 98 tenants allegedly due to coronavirus on Friday, a move that shocked authorities.
“It is absolutely horrible,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “It is an invaluable loss, and it is simply impossible to imagine so many lives lost in one place.”
It is difficult to determine if the wave of deaths at the Isabella Geriatric Center in Manhattan is the worst outbreak in a nursing home in the country because, even within the same city, these centers report deaths differently. A state count of deaths in senior centers published on Friday reflected only 13 in said care space.RELATED
But people in charge of the residence, with capacity for 705 people, confirmed that since Wednesday, 46 residents who tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, had died, in addition to 52 other “possible” cases. Some died in the center and others after being treated in hospitals.
The number of bodies was so overwhelming that the residence ordered a refrigerator truck to store them because funeral homes take days to take care of the bodies.
“Initially, Isabella, like all other New York City nursing homes, had limited access to consistent and widespread internal testing to quickly diagnose our residents and staff,” Audrey Waters, a spokeswoman for the center, said in an email. “This hampered our ability to identify those who were infected or asymptomatic, despite our efforts to quickly separate anyone with symptoms.”
Isabella also had staff shortage issues, so she had to hire outside agencies, and to provide protective gear for her employees. The center “has more access to testing” now, Waters said.
Deaths at the nursing home were first reported by the local cable news network NY1.
(some time ago already)
Since the start of the outbreak, nursing homes have been a focus of infection. According to a count by The Associated Press, until Thursday the most affected were by far those in New York, with at least 3,065 deaths.