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New York May Have Undercounted Nursing-Home COVID Deaths by Half

The Attorney General Office released a report saying the New York Health Department erred in counting COVID-19 fatalities in nursing homes.

(Bloomberg)—New York may have had twice as many coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes than the official count of more than 8,700 reflects, state Attorney General Letitia James said.

The Attorney General’s Office released a report Thursday saying the state Health Department erred in counting Covid-19 fatalities and detailed a lack of compliance with infection-control policies at many nursing homes.

The office’s investigation also found that state guidance requiring coronavirus patients be admitted into nursing homes may have put healthy residents at risk. The Health Department also may have obscured data available to assess the risk, according to the report.

The report comes as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration faces intense scrutiny for not releasing complete nursing-home death data months after the initial wave of the pandemic.

Efforts to reach the administration and the Health Department for comment Thursday weren’t immediately successful.

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