COVID-19 is crushing black communities. Some states are paying attention
WASHINGTON — As states begin to ease quarantine restrictions, epidemiologists caution that success in conquering the next wave of the pandemic largely will depend on taking extra precautions to protect the most vulnerable — the elderly and people of color.African Americans are at much higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than the rest of the population, and they are much more likely than white people to die from the virus.That means that unless state and local governments redouble COVID-19 prevention campaigns in predominantly black counties and neighborhoods, the disease will continue to sprea...
A PPE fee at the dentist? New requirements could raise prices for patients
PHILADELPHIA — When the dentist’s office called to cancel Laura Lizcano’s appointment for a crown and cavity filling in March because of the coronavirus, she wasn’t terribly worried.The 25-year-old freelance musician didn’t know at the time that the pandemic would keep medical offices closed for months — and prevent her from getting her teeth taken care of before she lost her health insurance.Lizcano, who lives in Queen Village, will be dropped from her mother’s insurance plan at the end of May after turning 26, the age limit for children to be covered by a parent.Now, at a time when she’s los...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Florida long-term-care facilities' resident deaths from COVID-19 jump by 24% in past week
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The death toll from the new coronavirus now tops 1,000 victims at Florida’s nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, according to the latest available state report.There have been 1,032 resident deaths from COVID-19 since the outbreak began, with an increase of 199 deaths in the past seven days. That is a 23.9% increase for the week.It’s another sign that the disease continues to batter the places that serve a population that is most at risk from infections.Florida has reported 2,232 confirmed deaths from coronavirus-related illness, and those at nursing homes and ...
Pennsylvania nursing home data minimizes the coronavirus devastation in Philadelphia senior centers
PHILADELPHIA — If you accept the state data released this week about the coronavirus’s scourge of long-term-care facilities, no staff members at the Philadelphia Nursing Home in Fairmount have gotten the disease — and across the city’s 47 nursing homes, fewer than 20 staffers have tested positive.That would be wonderful news for seniors in those facilities and their loved ones. Staff members who carry the virus without showing symptoms all too often bring the disease into the homes, with deadly results.But neither of those statements is accurate. In fact, 30 staff members at the Philadelphia N...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Cuomo says decision to send coronavirus patients to nursing homes is on Trump
ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said critics of the state’s handling of coronavirus cases in nursing homes need to talk to President Donald Trump.The governor defended New York’s response as the pandemic has killed more than 5,000 nursing home residents over the past two months, saying Wednesday the state’s recently reversed directive sending coronavirus patients back to elder care facilities was based on directives from the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.“Anyone who wants to ask why did the state do that with COVID patients in nursing homes, it’s because the s...
New York Daily News
Florida knew a COVID-19 pandemic was likely; state leaders didn't warn the public
MIAMI — Three months ago, Floridians were celebrating Valentine’s Day unaware that the novel coronavirus posed any real threat to their lives, or that it was likely already spreading through the state. No one had told them to be worried.While the public was kept in the dark, top Florida health officials were scrambling to come up with a plan for a crisis they knew was upon them, according to internal Florida Department of Health data and communications obtained by the Miami Herald.The records show that on Feb. 13 DOH assembled an emergency response team. The team’s mission: “Contain the spread...
Staffing nursing homes was hard before the pandemic. Now it's even tougher
Residents have fallen ill with the new coronavirus in both the Worcester, Mass., nursing homes where Kwaku Tsibo Bondah works. Protective equipment is in short supply, he said, and many of his colleagues have tested positive or are calling in sick because they’re afraid to come to work.“It’s really challenging … everybody is in a state of anxiety,” said Bondah, a licensed practical nurse. “Because you are going into a room with someone who has COVID-19 there.”Many nursing homes and assisted living facilities were short-staffed before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Now it’s even harder to recrui...
Washington state ordered $227.5 million in coronavirus supplies from a Chinese firm, but deliveries have trickled in
SEATTLE — As Washington state officials raced to buy protective gear for combating COVID-19, they bet big on a Chinese automotive conglomerate that has built what it calls the world’s largest face mask factory.Washington state has ordered $227.5 million worth of supplies — mostly masks — from a subsidiary of China’s BYD Co., accounting for more than half the value of all the state’s orders for COVID-19 supplies. Of the BYD orders, three-quarters are weeks behind schedule, while more than a million masks it has delivered are idling in a state warehouse awaiting federal regulatory approval, acco...
The Seattle Times
Vice President Mike Pence to visit Orlando nursing home on Wednesday
ORLANDO, Fla. — Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit an Orlando nursing home Wednesday to deliver personal protective equipment, or PPE, and to meet with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.According to the White House, Pence will discuss Florida’s phased reopening with the governor. DeSantis announced Friday that the state will move towards a “full Phase 1” with the reopening of gyms and expansion of restaurant seating to 50% capacity on Monday.The vice president will also join in a roundtable with hospitality and tourism industry leaders to talk about reopening.In between, Pence will als...
Editorial: Legal immunity for COVID-19 issues is a terrible idea
The coronavirus pandemic is the newest opening for the nursing home industry and other lawsuit-prone businesses to lobby for protections against being sued.They’re working in Washington, D.C., and various state capitals for near-total immunity from legal liability for anything having to do with COVID-19.That’s bad. What’s worse is that they may succeed. In Florida, the state Legislature is primed to immunize every sort of activity from grocery stores to condominium swimming pools.That would set a terrible precedent for covering up errors of negligence that made a tragic epidemic even worse.It ...