A 66-calendar year-aged affected person at Dry Harbor Nursing Household died of COVID-19 previous 7 days soon after the Queens facility gave vaccines only to long-lasting inhabitants — a misguided policy the state allegedly realized about in progress.
Vita Fontanetta, known as Tina, was admitted to the 360-mattress facility to recuperate from leg irritation on Jan. 11. When the nursing household doled out vaccines on Jan. 13, she was excluded, a loved ones member told Metropolis Councilman Robert Holden.
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On Jan. 18, the grandmother of two was despatched back again to the clinic owing to anemia, and tested optimistic for COVID on arrival, he claimed.
She died at Wyckoff Heights Health-related Heart on Jan. 23.
“I come to feel like the nursing property was in some way accountable,” Fontanetta’s daughter-in-legislation informed Holden (D-Queens) right after a front-site report in The Submit uncovered the Dry Harbor selective-vaccine fiasco.
“It doesn’t show up that the point out is sufficiently checking nursing dwelling facilities, possibly for Covid prevention or vaccine rollout,” Holden stated Saturday.
A COVID-19 outbreak at Dry Harbor — at least 44 people and 11 staffers have examined positive considering that Dec. 22 — reveals flaws in the Cuomo administration’s oversight of security and vaccination in New York nursing residences.
Holden joined Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens), who misplaced an uncle in a nursing house due to COVID-19, in calling for a wide, independent investigation.
The councilman’s 96-12 months-old mother, Anne Holden, a rehab affected person at Dry Harbor, also was excluded from a 1st spherical of vaccinations the nursing home gave lasting citizens through a federal plan administered by CVS on Dec. 23.
Anne gained a to start with dose 3 weeks later on on Jan. 13, when other residents obtained a next dose. She arrived down with COVID on Jan. 20 and was hospitalized. She remains in secure ailment.
Other individuals and households are suffering from COVID immediately after Dry Harbor unsuccessful to vaccinate them.
Carmen Martinez, a resident because April, was excluded from the vaccinations on Dec. 23, her son Antonio Collazo advised The Submit.
Collazo claimed he gained a recorded message from Dry Harbor on Xmas Eve indicating it experienced vaccinated “all those citizens who requested it.”
Collazo complained that he experienced asked for the vaccine for his mother, who suffers from mild Alzheimer’s. The 92-12 months-old was then scheduled to get her 1st dose on Jan. 13.
But on Jan. 12, Martinez tested beneficial for COVID. She was hospitalized, and is now unconscious on a ventilator, clinging to existence.
“I may possibly hardly ever get to see her alive once more,” Collazo explained of his mother, a retired federal staff, grandmother and terrific-grandmother.
A 73-12 months-old Queens gentleman sent to Dry Harbor to get better from a broken hip also missed the pre-Xmas vaccine. He tested constructive for Covid on Jan. 4, his sister told The Submit.
Now he will have to hold out 90 times to get vaccinated. He also will have to halt his cancer procedure till he recovers from COVID, she mentioned.
“I really don’t know what the nursing household was considering. Why wouldn’t they shield the rehab clients?”
Very last week, the sister gained a recorded cellphone information from Dry Harbor administrator Mark Solomon assuring “they will be giving out the vaccines to every person there and we should not stress about our spouse and children customers,” she mentioned. “A small too late for my brother and the councilman’s mom.”
Her brother stays on Dry Harbor’s fourth floor, where by all the COVID sufferers are housed.
Solomon did not return messages searching for remark.
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Holden claimed he spoke to a condition Health and fitness Department investigator last week who told him she knew about Dry Harbor’s plan to vaccinate only long term inhabitants 1st, but did absolutely nothing to suitable or halt it.
“Do you consider it’s intelligent in a Covid outbreak to vaccinate only a part of the people, supplying only some individuals a fighting opportunity?” Holden stated he asked the inspector, Carmen Meliton.
“It’s not up to me to say no matter if it is ideal or not,” he mentioned Meliton replied.
Jonah Bruno, a spokesman for the point out Health and fitness Section, contradicted the statements, indicating nursing homes are not essential to post a vaccination plan to the point out.
But Bruno reiterated that Dry Harbor did not observe state protocol, expressing the condition has no plan prioritizing people or clients.
“Vaccinations are getting specified to all nursing-household people regardless of brief term or lengthy time period stay,” he explained.
Holden is disappointed. “It is clear that just one hand doesn’t know what the other is undertaking at the point out Office of Overall health,” he claimed.
Bruno did not respond to when questioned if Dry Harbor had informed the Well being Department about Fontanetta’s loss of life. He also did not response the dilemma of how numerous unvaccinated or other inhabitants who tested positive in Dry Harbor afterwards died in hospitals.
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Since the pandemic started, the condition has tallied the claimed deaths of patients who died of COVID in nursing homes — not people who caught the bug in nursing households and died in hospitals.
Very last week, state Lawyer Typical Letitia James issued a report blasting the Cuomo administration for substantially underreporting nursing house fatalities.