ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) – For the first time over the weekend, New York State published the number of nursing home residents who died outside of those facilities by county. The new details prove that more than 1,000 nursing home residents in the five-county Western New York region have died from COVID-19.
The information, updated on Monday to include data through February 7th, shows 260 Western New York nursing home residents died after being transferred out of the facility, often to a hospital.
When combined with the 857 residents presumed or confirmed to have died from COVID inside the nursing home facilities themselves through the 7th, the published data shows 1,117 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19 dating back to March 2020 in Western New York.
The Western New York region includes Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties.
In January, a report from New York State Attorney General Tish James’ office said the state was undercounting nursing home deaths in its published data, which at the time did not include the number of residents who died from the coronavirus outside of nursing home facilities. Later that day, for the first time, New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker revealed that nearly 4,000 nursing home residents statewide died in hospitals.
“When I saw the attorney general report, I decided that we needed to finish that up quickly and get those numbers out in real time,” Zucker said a day later.
Across the state, more than 13,000 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19.
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.