COVID-19 deaths at long-term care facilities in New York state, including nursing homes and adult care facilities, surged in the final weeks of 2020, federal data show.
The total number of COVID-19 deaths at long-term care facilities in New York since the beginning of the outbreak now stands at 8,110, the coalition data shows. Yet these figures only reflect the number of residents who physically died in the nursing homes and adult care facilities and don't include those who died off-premises. The total number of COVID-19 deaths associated with such facilities could be far larger if it takes into account people who were taken to hospitals after falling ill with the virus and later died there.
Meanwhile, as New York deals with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ramped up the state's inoculation efforts, calling vaccines "the weapon that will win the war."
"Our singular focus is getting shots into arms and with the opening of these state-run sites today, we are doing just that," Cuomo said in a statement.
In New York, like in much of the United States, efforts to get the two vaccines that have so far been authorized into the arms of Americans have moved slower than hoped due to a slew of issues, including strict rules controlling who should get inoculated first.
"The vaccine is the weapon that ends the war, but we're locked in a footrace between its quick distribution and the spread of new cases," Cuomo said in a statement. "New Yorkers can get through this together, but it will require a willingness to take precautions not just for themselves, but for others. Wash your hands, wear a mask, and stay socially distanced."