Nursing Home Loses 29 Residents to the Virus, Possibly More
NEW YORK, NY- Nytimes.com writes that reports indicate that at least 29 people died at a Queens nursing home, but that some are asking whether more deaths have occurred but not yet been reported. Families are struggling to get information from the facility and feel as though they are being left in the dark.*
One woman stated that the home called here weeks ago, reporting that her mother had a fever, but that she was not seriously ill. She was also told that the home did not have any cases of COVID-19. The woman started calling the home seeking information and was told by one worker that the home was "crazy" and that six people had died on the day of the call.
The woman drove to the facility in a panic to learn whether her mother was okay. She repeatedly tried to get information from staff at the Sapphire Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing of Central Queens. Some individuals she spoke to unofficially informed her that many residents had died and that much of the staff was now ill or in quarantine. In a desperate attempt to contact her mother, she began to bang on the window of her room. She said it is not clear whether her mother understood what was happening at the home.
While the home stated 29 people had died, staff members have reported that the actual number is greater. There are 227 beds at the home, and some workers are claiming the death toll could be as high as 60.
Across the nation, nursing homes are being struck by the virus. Staff shortages, a lack of personal protective gear, and too little testing have created a nightmarish situation in many of these facilities.
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