55 coronavirus deaths reported at Brooklyn nursing home

55 coronavirus deaths reported at Brooklyn nursing home
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At least 55 residents of a nursing facility in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., have died from the novel coronavirus, one of several outbreaks to devastate such a facility.

Cobble Hill Health Center has had more deaths than a home in Richmond, Va., where 49 people died, a veteran’s home in Holyoke, Mass., where 48 died and a Kirkland, Wash., facility where 43 died, The Associated Press reported.

Daniel Arbeeny, who checked his 88-year-old father into the Brooklyn home in late March, told the AP that staff at the facility “were under siege.”


“They were doing the best they could, as far as we could tell at arm’s length, under siege,” he said.

Cobble Hill CEO Donny Tuchman told the AP there are likely other homes with higher death counts, and that the spotlight is on his facility because it is transparent about the deaths and listed cases in which it was “possible” the virus could have been a factor, although his home has been unable to perform tests.

“There’s been a lot of lip service about how vulnerable nursing homes have been, and everyone has the best intentions, but it didn’t materialize,” Tuchman said. “The PPE didn’t materialize, the staffing surge didn’t materialize, the testing didn’t materialize," he added, referring to personal protective equipment. "How did we expect this not to spread?”

Tuchman said it’s unclear how the virus got into the facility but said that while numerous paramedics and staff enter the building each day and are screened for symptoms and their temperatures taken, there is no way of detecting asymptomatic cases.

As recently as Monday, New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNYC planning mega-concert to celebrate reopening Ocasio-Cortez endorses Maya Wiley in NYC mayoral race Former 'Real Housewives' star exits New York mayoral race MORE (D) told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” the situation at the home and others like it demonstrates that “you cannot pretend that this ferocious disease is simply going to walk away at one point or just flick a switch and it’s gone.”

Approximately 8,000 coronavirus deaths have been reported in nursing homes across the U.S., with roughly one-third in facilities in New York state.