ALBANY – State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, today attended a memorial gathering marking the one-year anniversary of the Cuomo Administration’s order that sent COVID-positive patients directly into New York’s nursing homes.
Oberacker told the gathering he is co-sponsoring a Senate Resolution (J554) which would designate March 25 as “We Care” Remembrance Day.
The Rules Are Clear, Says Proprietor,
But They Must Be Enforced Every Day
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
‘When I was a child, a classmate was one of the last Americans to have polio,” said Woodside Hall proprietor Stephen Cadwalader. “What if COVID-19 is like polio? That’s what went through my mind.”
So here we are, a year since the coronavirus arrived – Governor Cuomo reported Tuesday was the anniversary of the first in-state COVID case – and not a single case has appeared at Woodside Hall, a nursing home in the imposing mansion at 1 Main St.
“I’m proud to say, we’re the only facility in the county not to test positive for COVID,” said Joel Plue, the home’s administrator since last September.
Asked to confirm that, county Public Health Director Heidi Bond concurred: The only one.
“We look at residents as an extension of our family,” said Plue, sitting in the bright drawing room across from the grand piano.
The home’s secret? It’s not so much a secret, it turns out, as rigorously applying generally accepted standards.
First, Plue continued, “we take care of our staff. If they arrive with even a sniffle, they’re sent home. They come back to work as soon as they test negative.”
Editor’s Note: By covering stories other big newspapers have ignored, the New York Post, founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton, is regaining some of its luster. In this latest editorial on the Cuomo Administration’s latest crisis, it questions whether campaign contributions played a role in the March 25 order requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients. Also, below, is a sampling of editorials on the issue.
Governor Cuomo is trying to rage his way through the horrific nursing-home scandal, vowing to “take on the lies and the unscrupulous actors” even as he repeats his own lies blaming the feds for his fateful March 25 mandate that homes accept COVID-contagious patients. Will the feds let him get away with it?
New Yorkers who lost family members in nursing homes were cheered by news of a federal probe into the matter. But the Biden Justice Department might buy his effort to blame the Trump administration, even though it’s transparently false.
By MICHAEL FORSTER ROTHBART • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
A coronavirus outbreak swept through Fox Nursing Home mid-January, sickening 97 staff and residents, and ultimately killing 12 of the residents.
“After more than 10 months with no resident cases, the outbreak occurred suddenly with half of the total cases occurring within a week of onset,” Fox Hospital spokesperson Gabrielle Argo confirmed.
The first COVID cases among residents were confirmed on Jan. 14, and the first death occurred two days later.
Among the victims were Patricia O’Brien of Oneonta, who died Jan. 24 in the nursing home’s Unit One, after living there seven years.
Another was Bernice Marlette, Mount Vision, three days later on her 99th birthday.
Charles Rizzo, a World War II Navy veteran and later a nurse in Oneonta, died Jan. 30 at age 97.
Frances Sokol, a Quaker activist from Unadilla who once met Eleanor Roosevelt, turned 100 in December. Before she died with COVID on Feb. 4, she complained to her daughter how the oxygen made her throat feel so dry.
Editor’s Note: Here are the recommendations in state Attorney General Letitia James’ report, “Nursing Home Response to COVID-19 Pandemic,” which also discovered nursing-home deaths may be 50 percent higher than the Cuomo Administration let on. For Complete Text Click Here.
•Ensure public reporting by each nursing home as to the number of COVID-19 deaths of residents occurring at the facility — and those that occur during or after hospitalization of the residents — in a manner that avoids creating a double-counting of resident deaths at hospitals in reported state COVID-19 death statistics.
• Enforce, without exception, New York State law requiring nursing homes to provide adequate care and treatment of nursing home residents during times of emergency.
• Require nursing homes to comply with labor practices that prevent nursing homes from pressuring employees to work while they have COVID-19 infection or symptoms, while ensuring nursing homes obtain and provide adequate staffing levels to care for residents’ needs.
• Require direct care and supervision staffing levels that: (1) are expressed in ratios of residents to RNs, LPNs, and CNAs; (2) require calculation of sufficiency that includes adjustment based on average resident acuity; (3) are above the current level reflected at facilities with low CMS Staffing ratings; and, (4) are sufficient to care for the facility’s residents’ needs reflected in their care plans.
ALBANY – That state Attorney General Letitia James concluded the Cuomo Administration underreported COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by half is “appalling,” Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, declared in a statement released this afternoon.
An investigation by James’ office concluded the administration undercounted coronavirus-related deaths at nursing homes by as much as 50 percent, the New York Times reported today.
Salka said this warrants the state Legislature pulling the governor’s emergency powers, and he urged his colleagues to do so.