NY Governor Cuomo Forced Homes for the Developmentally Disabled To Take In Coronavirus Stricken

April 8th Photo: A group home in Bayville, N.Y., for people with disabilities. Almost all of the residents had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Governor Andrew Cuomo allowed homes for the developmentally disabled (high risk) to have staff who have been exposed to COVID. Weeks before he he prohibited these homes from turning someone away for having COVID, therre were numerous reports that nursing homes, assisted living and congregate care centers were the most vulnerbale to Coronavirus. 

The biggest drag on New York state is Medicaid – what better way to rid the state of the old, sick, and disabled?

COVID-19 Death Rates Higher Among Those with Developmental Disabilities

Syracuse University Professor Scott Landes says COVID-19 death rates are higher among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) compared to those without. He says it’s mainly individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

“This population, in general, either because of swallowing problems or disorders, or choking disorders, or just more susceptibility to lung infections seems to develop pneumonia at a higher rate than those in the general population,” said Landes. “That’s just really detrimental when you’re talking about something like COVID

Landes says this pandemic is an even bigger challenge for those living in congregate residential settings. (Spectrum News)

Despite Governor Cuomo’s fatal policies, he enjoys a wave of popularity through his daily coronavirus news briefings. It’s strange and unsettling.

The New York Times reported:

The call came on March 24. Bob McGuire, the executive director of CP Nassau, a nonprofit group that cares for the developmentally disabled, received a report from a four-story, colonnaded building in Bayville, N.Y., that houses several dozen residents with severe disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy to autism. For many of them, discussions of social distancing or hand washing are moot.

“Bob, we’re starting to see symptoms,” Mr. McGuire was told.

Fevers were spreading. Within 24 hours, 10 residents were taken to the hospital. Now, little more than two weeks later, 37 of the home’s 46 residents have tested positive for the coronavirus. Two are dead; nine remain hospitalized. At least eight members of the staff have tested positive as well.

“Forgive me if I get emotional,” Mr. McGuire said in an interview, choking up. “People discount people with disabilities and presume they understand them when they don’t know them. They think their lives are not worth the same as yours or mine, and that’s just not true.”

As the coronavirus preys on the most vulnerable, it is taking root in New York’s sprawling network of group homes for people with special needs.

As of Monday, 1,100 of the 140,000 developmentally disabled people monitored by the state had tested positive for the virus, state officials said. One hundred five had died — a rate, far higher than in the general population, that echoes the toll in some nursing homes.

Separately, a study by a large consortium of private service providers found that residents of group homes and similar facilities in New York City and surrounding areas were 5.34 times more likely than the general population to develop Covid-19 and 4.86 times more likely to die from it. What’s more, nearly 10 percent of the homes’ residents were displaying Covid-like symptoms but had not yet been tested, according to the consortium, New York Disability Advocates.

As early as April 8, there were reports
On April 24, 2020, NYS Disability, Rights Groups urged Governor Cuomo to address the high COVID-19 Risks in Congregate Settings:

April 24, 2020

Honorable Governor Andrew M. Cuomo NY State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224
Re: NY’s COVID-19 Policies For People With Disabilities Living In Congregate Settings

Dear Governor Cuomo:

The undersigned disability rights organizations are writing in regard to the State’s COVID-19 policies and procedures regarding people with disabilities living in congregate care facilities, including nursing homes, adult homes, supportive housing, group homes for people with psychiatric and developmental disabilities, psychiatric hospitals and state prisons.

As you have recently referenced in your press briefings, people in these facilities are at a very high risk for contracting COVID-19 once they enter a facility due to shared and often crowded living quarters. Many programs have shared bedrooms and bathrooms greatly limiting the ability to self-isolate when needed. A lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the staff and residents is exacerbated when programs are understaffed. Many of these facilities faced understaffing prior to the current public health crisis. This situation in many instances has been greatly exacerbated by the spread of the virus and staff being out sick with the coronavirus, providing childcare while schools are closed, or caring for family members that may be sick. In fact, the crisis has grown well beyond a state of emergency for thousands of New Yorkers.

Moreover, many of the people living in these facilities are in the very high-risk category for dying of the virus. This has sadly and disastrously been playing out in NYS facilities over the past month or so. Fatalities in nursing homes and adult homes make up 25% of all fatalities in New York State due to the coronavirus. New York State must make protecting these individuals the highest priority moving forward. Releasing data and investigating nursing homes is a start, but there is much more that the State must do immediately in order to save the lives of thousands of people living in these facilities.

New York State must ensure the protection and rights of the residents in state-funded facilities and programs. This includes:

Read more at Geller Report

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