Nearly 40% of Westchester COVID-19 deaths linked to nursing homes, assisted living facilities

1010 WINS Newsroom
April 16, 2020 - 3:13 pm

    NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Nearly 40 percent of Westchester County’s coronavirus-related deaths have been linked to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the county executive said Thursday. 

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    A total of 668 Westchester residents have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, County Executive George Latimer said during a live-streamed news conference Thursday afternoon. 

    Of the 668 people who died, 207 were living in nursing homes, while 43 were staying in assisted-living facilities, he noted. 

    “We have been advocating for a more aggressive, ongoing review by state health officials of the nursing homes, of the assisted living facilities, on a regular, routine basis — not whenever there is a complaint or a concern,” Latimer said. 

    “In general, these facilities do a terrific job for us — we have very high-quality nursing homes and assisted living facilities — but in the middle of a pandemic, nobody can be sure of what’s happening,” he added. “And I think we want there to be a greater sense of security — particularly because of the high level of fatalities that come from nursing homes.”

    As of Thursday, 21,828 people in Westchester County had tested positive for COVID-19, including 10,241 people whose cases are currently considered to be active. A total of 65,268 county residents have been tested, Latimer noted. 

    “We are testing in Westchester County, proportionately, more than any other place in New York State,” he said. 

    As of Wednesday evening, 1,125 county residents were hospitalized with COVID-19 — 43 fewer than Tuesday night, according to Latimer. Twenty eight of the 668 residents who have died passed away on Wednesday, he noted. 

    “The fact that we lost 28 individuals last night is a tragedy no matter how you slice it, but it is also true that it is the smallest number of deaths we’ve had in that same ten-day, two-week period of time,” Latimer said. 

    That statistic, combined with the dip in hospitalizations, is a sign that the county’s curve may be flattening, he said. 

    "We’re expecting that were going to have additional hospital rooms… available to us if we need them,” he said. “At this stage in the game, if we maintain this level of hospitalization need, we may not need all of those extra hospital beds, which would be a good thing.” 

    “We’re still heading in the right direction,” he added. 

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