De Blasio Offers COVID Tests To NYC Nursing Home Residents Months After Outbreak Began

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that New York City will provide a coronavirus test to every nursing home resident several months after the outbreak began.

“This is new: New York City is stepping in to offer COVID-19 testing to every nursing home resident in New York City,” de Blasio said in the tweet. “As many as 3,000 tests a day if needed, with all the test kits and lab capacity to go with it.” (RELATED: Chris Cuomo Has Yet To Ask Andrew Cuomo About New York Nursing Home Deaths. Here Are 9 Questions He Asked Instead)

“Our parents and grandparents need to be safe,” de Blasio said.

Ramping up testing at long-term care facilities is needed “to stop a future pandemic in its tracks,” the Democratic mayor told his Twitter followers.

New York City officials have also sent 240 staff to nursing homes to deal with any influx of the virus, de Blasio said. “We will have 10 outbreak response teams to reinforce any nursing home that’s seeing a surge in COVID cases to keep residents and staff safe,” he said.

De Blasio’s announcement comes as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces criticism over a March 25 order requiring nursing homes to admit and re-admit COVID-19 positive patients.

Cuomo partially reversed the March executive order, telling reporters during a May 11 press briefing that patients must now test negative for the virus before hospitals can admit them to assisted living facilities. “This virus uses nursing homes … They are ground zero,” the Democratic governor said.

Nearly half of all coronavirus-related deaths in Europe occurred in nursing homes, according to data from the World Health Organization reported in April.

A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found the state government was knowingly under-counting nursing home deaths.

New York state revealed in April that at least 3,316 people in nursing homes had died of coronavirus at their residences or in hospitals across the state. The virus was first confirmed in Wuhan, China, before spreading across the world, landing in the United States where it had been a factor in more than 80,000 deaths by the end of April.

De Blasio has also faced heat for his response to the virus.

De Blasio dismissed the impact of coronavirus in early March nearly two weeks before he criticized President Donald Trump for not mobilizing the military to confront the outbreak.

“Since I’m encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives + get out on the town despite Coronavirus,” de Blasio told his Twitter followers on March 3, no more than two weeks before likening the outbreak to a type of World War that required nationalizing industries.

De Blasio’s office has not responded to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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