As coronavirus deaths mount in the state's nursing homes, family and friends of those residing in some of New York's 613 facilities are telling their stories of frustration and fear.
They are complaining of lack of information about their parents and partners, their friends and neighbors, from the nursing home operators and staff and the state itself. The Journal News/lohud has been collecting these stories and attempting to get information from the facilities as well as the state, which has been slow to divulge full details on the number of cases and coronavirus deaths at each nursing home.
On Friday, the state released nursing home fatalities for facilities in which more than five people had died of COVID-19. The data, self-reported by the nursing homes, included at least 42 facilities in which more than 10 people had died due to the novel coronavirus.
The data, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo had said would be released Thursday, was posted on Friday after repeated questioning by the USA TODAY Network New York and other media outlets.
According to state data, as of Wednesday, some 37% of deaths in Westchester County have come from nursing homes and assisted living facilities, with 207 and 43 attributed to the facilities, respectively. Nursing home deaths accounted for about 16% of Rockland's coronavirus-related fatalities.
State data revealed that at least seven nursing homes in Westchester recorded six or more deaths from coronvirus, including Regency Extended Care Center in Yonkers with 30 deaths.
Family members with parents in several Rockland County nursing homes have said they couldn’t get information about how many residents had died from COVID-19, or even connect with administrators to discuss concerns. No Rockland facilities were listed on the state breakdown list.
One said his 92-year-old mother, who lives in a facility that has a nursing home wing and an assisted living wing, requested a mask after workers told her the nursing home had multiple deaths.
“They wouldn’t give her one and they wouldn’t let me bring her one,” he said.