In New York, Gov. Cuomo was criticized in a major publication for the fact that half of all the deaths in New York were related to nursing homes. The major complaint is that the Governor ordered that COVID 19 patients had to be admitted, or re-admitted to skilled nursing facilities once the patients were deemed stable. That led to a spread among the most elderly, heath compromised and vulnerable population.

What seems to be getting less attention is the fact that the same percentages are true in California. Half of all of the state’s COVID 19 deaths are linked to nursing homes or long term care. (See the CDPH Website Updates Here)

As of May 6, 2020 – there have been 2,254 deaths in California, (far fewer than in New York State). Of those deaths, 1,142 are related to long term care and assisted living facilities.

Assisted living communities had 201 COVID 19 deaths. Skilled nursing facilities had 929.
(See CDSS Website Updates Here)

Skilled nursing clients are typically frailer; some are recovering from falls, hospitalizations, strokes, heart attacks etc. People who live with chronic conditions in skilled nursing facilities are often funded by Medi-Cal.

By the numbers, CA confirmed COVID 19 cases in long term care:

  • 3,349 health care workers in skilled nursing facilities have been confirmed with COVID 19
  • 5,604 residents of nursing homes have been confirmed with COVID 19.
  • 1,552 assisted living residents and workers have been confirmed with COVID 19.
  • Those combined total 10,505 confirmed COVID 19 cases in long term care facilities. That’s 19 % of all the state’s confirmed cases today.

The bottom line is that while long term care facilities and retirement communities make up one fifth of California’s COVID 19 cases, their residents and workers make up 50% of the state’s deaths. This means that California and New York need to focus on doing more to protecting these most vulnerable groups.