COVID-19 Update 04/15/2020

East New York nursing home is storing dead bodies in a spare room

More reports of Brooklyn nursing homes being unable to deal with their growing number of decedents due to COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, have come out, this time at East New York’s Linden Center.

According to nurses from the center and community advocates, Linden is not handling its dead patients correctly and is keeping them in a way that could spread the virus.

The center’s morgue can only hold up to four bodies, but the nursing home has lost around 25 patients to the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

As a result, the center has been keeping its dead laid out in a room together with the air conditioner on blast.

The bodies are being stored in a room,” nurse Alexis Lewis said. “The way they store the bodies, we can get sick.”

Yesterday, the Linden Center was provided with a refrigerated morgue truck, but that’s not the only problem that the staff has been bringing to light.

Apparently, they do not have enough personal protective equipment despite the fact that they are working with one of the most high-risk populations there is — the elderly. The center denies that this is true, however.

“Linden Center has an adequate supply of PPE, and we have reached an agreement with the union to provide hazard pay for our employees beyond what is required by their collective bargaining agreement,” the center’s general counsel Richard Brum said in a statement. “Arrangements have been made for a temporary morgue at the facility which will help alleviate the backlog at local morgues and funeral homes. Like all medical facilities on the front lines, Linden Center is treating COVID-19 patients as required by the Department of Health. We are doing everything in our power to provide critical care to the vulnerable and protect our brave staff and residents.”

Read more about this in this article: Pix11 News

Department of Health includes deaths from unconfirmed cases in count

The New York City Department of Health Building. Credit: Beyond My Ken, Wikimedia Commons

Brooklyn leads the city in death from unconfirmed coronavirus cases after the Department of Health decided to begin including suspected virus deaths in the daily death count.

This call means that an estimated 3,778 more people died of coronavirus in New York City than were initially believed to be.

Brooklyn is now the borough with the second-highest death count in the city, following Queens’ 2,632  with 2,525 deaths. It is also thought to be the borough with the most of these unconfirmed case deaths.

The release of this information became slightly controversial, however, because New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration gave these counts to The New York Times exclusively in the beginning, seemingly so they could break the news, before sharing it publicly.

Read more about this in this article: Patch

Queens man who had the virus for a month finally recovered

John Giarratano, credit: Pix11 News (they gave no photo credit)

John Giarratano, the Queens man who had been on a ventilator for 14 days in March and had the coronavirus for what seems to have been an entire month, is finally recovered.

“I never want to experience that again,” he told Pix11 News.

Giarratano had first developed a fever on March 6 and, after a visit to Urgent Care and lots of waiting, he was finally admitted to Mount Sinai hospital in Oceanside, though he was eventually transferred to the flagship location in Manhattan.

He was put on two different experimental treatments and was in a medically induced coma for two full weeks. On March 29, his partner Brian Zupanick’s birthday, Giarratano was finally taken off the ventilator. 

It wasn’t until March 6 that Zupanick was able to take Giarratano home.

“Like you’re drowning,” he described having COVID-19 feels like. “You can barely get any air in.”

Giarratano is speculating that he may have caught the virus either through the mail or from sharing a box of Girl Scout cookies with his coworkers.

Read more about this in this article: Pix11 News

Girl Scouts of Greater New York donates 40,000 boxes of cookies to public NYC hospitals

Credit: Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar, Flickr

The Girl Scouts of Greater New York have announced that they will be donating all of the Girl Scouts cookies purchased for donation to NYC Health + Hospitals corporation that runs all of the public New York City hospitals.

“NYC Health + Hospitals facilities are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response, and our heroic employees are working day and night to save lives. We want to offer as many resources as possible to our health care workers so they can continue to strive and provide the best care to our patients,” Vice President and Chief Quality Officer of GSGNY Dr. Eric Wei said. “We are so grateful and want to thank the Girl Scouts of Greater New York for their generosity. Thank you for helping us to provide some relief and support to our frontline staff.”

So far, the organization has donated 40,000 boxes of cookies, but it hopes to get that number to 100,000. Once cookies are donated, they will be distributed by partners who are providing food services to the hospitals.

The cookies will go to the hospital break rooms as a thank you to the medical workers who are on the front lines of this pandemic. They will also go into grocery packages that employees are receiving.

“Girl Scouting is all about serving your community, and the best way we can help now, is by bringing joy to those who need it most—our healthcare workers and their families,” GSGNY CEO Meridith Maskara said. “We know New Yorkers and people all around the world will want to purchase Girl Scout cookies for donation and do their part to send a smile and a treat to New York City’s healthcare workers who are working so hard for all of us.”

Read more about this in this article: Queens Courier

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