Christmas staffing shortage leads to nursing home calling 911 for assistance caring for elderly

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DENVER, CO –  Employees of the Autumn Heights Care Center were forced to call 911 for help on Christmas morning.

Why?  Because there wasn’t enough medical staff on scene to provide adequate care to the 50 residents.

On Christmas Day, someone inside of the Autumn Heights Care Center called 911 for help because they were extremely short staffed and could not tend to all the patients.

According to an unnamed source, News4 Nashville reported that there was only one nurse on duty for roughly fifty patients.

While there is no independent verification of those numbers, the Denver Department of Health and Environment did confirm the nursing home had issues with their staffing.

News4 reported that the employee who called 911 requested that all the patients be transported to local hospital for the medical care that they were unable to provide. It is unclear if the patients needed routine medical care or if they were suffering from COVID.

However, earlier this month the facility reported to the Colorado State Joint Information Center that they had seen an outbreak of COVID. The center reported the COVID outbreak was relayed to them on December 18th.

Member of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment outbreak team has been working with the facility since the report of the outbreak. The hope is that the team will be able to minimize the impact the virus has to those in the home and stop the outbreak.

News4 spoke to the DDPHE regarding the call for help from inside the facility. They reported that the call for help and request for medical transfers did not seem related to the COVID outbreak.

They also noted that the request to transfer was ultimately denied and instead, the Denver Health Paramedic Division stepped up and sent resources into the facility.

Members with the Colorado Joint Information Center reported that they have been in talks with the leadership at Autumn Heights regarding the staffing shortage at the facility.

Until the facility has the means to fully support the number of patients they have in care, staffing will be provided to them by the State Staffing Fusion Center.

While it is unknown if the facility was understaffed due to employee related issues or COVID positive nursing staff, other areas throughout the country are noticing staffing issues over the virus.

One of these companies, CityMD, has recently announced that they will be closing three of their offices in Brooklyn, New York due to staffing shortages.

According to the company, the urgent care centers in Cobble Hill, Prospect Park South and Bensonhurst were all closed during the week of December 15th due to staffing shortages caused by the Omicron variant.

The company, which is a well-used COVID testing site, believes that closing these sites temporarily will allow them to stay open.

While the company does not cite any specific reason why they felt the move was necessary, some speculate it is because they do not have enough healthy staff members to keep all the locations open. People like @Dancey_ posted on Twitter:

“i worked at citymd and let me tell yall. this is code for “our entire staff got covid at this location and we cant keep moving employees around” this is for the best.”

Without going into any official reason for the closure, CityMD reported:

“To preserve our ability to staff sites, we’re temporarily closing some locations. We’re taking this step now to avoid future closures. With 150 locations, we’re hopeful any patients affected should still have access to a CityMD location.”

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What are they hiding? NY Senate Democrats block subpoena for COVID-19 nursing home death data

WASHINGTON D.C.– When the pandemic hit around this time last year, no one knew how to handle the novel Coronavirus.

When death tolls started rising, one thing was for certain, the elderly and immune-compromised were the most susceptible to death as a result of contracting the virus. 

New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo ordered all nursing homes to take patients, even if they tested positive for COVID-19.

Given the how fast and easily the virus spreads, Governor Cuomo essentially sentenced many elderly people to their death.

The most interesting and comical thing to come out of this, is the fact that Governor Cuomo recently released a book he wrote on how well he handled the pandemic, and gave guidance to others to follow in his footsteps. 

It has come to light recently that the nursing home death totals that were released were drastically undercounted, exposing what looks like a cover up by the Cuomo administration. 

 

On Monday, February 1st, Democrats who control the state Senate blocked a motion to subpoena records from the Cuomo administration in order to gain a more accurate count of the number of individuals that died in nursing homes.

During a virtual meeting, Senator Thomas O’Mara, the ranking Republican on the Investigations Committee panel made the motion. 

The motion to force the State Health Department to release the death total records came shortly after Attorney General, Letitia James issued a damning report that proves Governor Cuomo and his health agency withheld an accurate count of those individuals residing in nursing homes who died from the Coronavirus.

The number released was cut by almost 50 percent, because residents who died after being taken to the hospital were excluded from the count

Hours after the damning report was issued, state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, who had been accused of stonewalling, gave a more detailed accounting, saying 12,743 nursing home residents had died from COVID-19 as of January 19.

That figure was about 4,000 more nursing home resident deaths than previously reported — confirming the attorney general’s finding, The New York Post reported.

O’Mara was not satisfied with the information that was released, and had claimed there’s more information to be had “to make sure we get to the bottom” of the COVID-19 nursing home tally.

O’Mara (R-Elmira) said:

“We talked about [issuing a subpoena] on and off throughout the past year,” 

 

O’Mara’s motion was seconded by GOP Sen. Anthony Palumbo, a former Suffolk County prosecutor.

Palumbo said:

“We do think there are a lot of irregularities,” 

He continued:

“The cover-up is usually worse than the crime.”

After becoming fed up with the stonewalling tactics taking place, last week Senator James Skoufis, the top Democrat and chairman of the Investigations Committee threatened to subpoena the DOH to release the total number of nursing home residents who died of COVID-19, according to reports.  

He called the delay tactics “downright insulting” to an co-equal branch of government.

The New York Post reported that Skoufis issued the threat before James issued her report.

And then during Monday’s committee meeting, he argued that O’Mara’s motion to issue a subpoena was largely moot after Zucker was forced to release an updated tally of nursing home deaths — that included those who died in hospitals — following James’ release of her report.

Skoufis is expecting Zucker to release more information when he testifies during a February 25th budget hearing.

The chief lawyer for the investigations panel then claimed that the motion had not been submitted in writing, and therefore was procedurally out out of order.

Skoufis said:

“This is a political motion. This committee is not going to be bullied into doing something after we laid out a road map to getting information,” 

He went on to say:

“I will recommend a `no vote’ on your motion,” 

O’Mara responded that it was a “dereliction of duty” for the Senate to let the Cuomo’s health team off the hook, adding:

“I, for one, do not believe we’re getting the full picture from Attorney General James’ report.”

Other Democrat members of the investigations committee include James Gaughran and former federal prosecutor Todd Kamsinsky, both representing Nassau County, and Elijan Reichlin Melnick of Rockland County, The New York Post reported.

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