The mayor laid out a four-part approach during Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing.
“We’re reassessing a bit and we’re coming to remember what we owe our seniors, and to appreciate them more, and to look out for them more, and to defend them more,” he said. “To me, this comes down to what the seniors in our lives have given us, what they mean to us and what we owe to them in terms of making sure they are healthy, making sure they are safe and always being there for them.”
De Blasio said the city will provide free, on-site coronavirus testing for all 169 facilities citywide. He estimates that will require 3,000 tests per day.
As more staff members test positive and go into quarantine, the city will also provide additional personnel to cover any shortages.
The mayor said there are 10 outbreak response teams ready to help as needed. Each team has at least three people, including an epidemiologist.
Lastly, de Blasio called for a shift away from private facilities to more home-based care.
“Having folks at home is in many ways not only a better quality of life, but it’s a better place to care for someone done right. It’s a better place to make sure that people have the support they need,” he said. “And by the way, if people are living at home, there’s much less chance of being in a situation where they’re exposed to a disease that’s spreading.”
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The mayor said that will be part of the city’s recovery planning to bring the city back “stronger, better and fairer.”
As of May 18, there were 5,630 coronavirus-related deaths at nursing homes statewide, with 3,050 in the city alone. Those numbers include both confirmed and presumed cases.