How New York, Florida and other states handled COVID-19 threat to nursing homes differently

June 1, 2020

By David Robinson / Gannett New York

Posted May 29, 2020 at 6:30 AM

Evidence is mounting that New York and other states that ordered nursing homes to admit residents infected with the coronavirus contributed to outbreak clusters and deaths.

One indication the directives fueled suffering has been discrepancies in state death tolls in nursing homes nationally from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, advocates said.

In New York, more than 5,800 nursing home residents have died in connection to COVID-19, the most in the country.

On March 25, New York officials ordered nursing homes to admit infected patients, if medically stable. Then, as deaths mounted inside the facilities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reversed the policy on May 10 under pressure from advocates and relatives.

In contrast, Florida, which never ordered nursing homes to admit COVID-19 patients, reported 1,043 nursing home resident deaths as of May 22, despite having more of the elderly care facilities than New York.