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US 3 N.Y. Children Die of Virus-Linked Syndrome: Live Updates

17:20  11 may  2020
17:20  11 may  2020 Source:   nytimes.com

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In New York City, 38 children have become ill from a virus-linked syndrome.

a train crossing a bridge over water: People enjoying Astoria Park in Queens on Sunday. The city took steps to reduce crowding at two other parks, Hudson River Park in Manhattan and Domino Park in Brooklyn, over the weekend. © Juan Arredondo for The New York Times People enjoying Astoria Park in Queens on Sunday. The city took steps to reduce crowding at two other parks, Hudson River Park in Manhattan and Domino Park in Brooklyn, over the weekend.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday that 38 New York City children have been inflicted with a serious new inflammatory syndrome that city health officials say appears to be linked to an immune response to the coronavirus.

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That is more than double the 15 cases the city’s Health Department warned of in an alert to city health providers early last week.

15 children are hospitalized in New York City with an inflammatory syndrome that could be linked to coronavirus

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The illness, known as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, introduces a troubling new aspect to the pandemic, which has largely spared children from serious disease. Statewide, at least three children have died of the inflammatory condition, including one in New York City, and state officials were investigating 85 potential cases, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Sunday.

a man standing in front of a building: “I miss you! Why can’t you come inside?” said Laurel Wittig, 74, the mother of Greg Guinard, 47, who visited her with his wife, Maura, 43, on Mother’s Day at a nursing home in Island Park, N.Y. © Chang W. Lee/The New York Times “I miss you! Why can’t you come inside?” said Laurel Wittig, 74, the mother of Greg Guinard, 47, who visited her with his wife, Maura, 43, on Mother’s Day at a nursing home in Island Park, N.Y.

Of the three children who have died, two were of elementary-school age, and one was an adolescent, said Dr. Howard Zucker, the state health commissioner. They lived in three different counties and were not known to have pre-existing conditions.

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In New Jersey, 72 people have died at a home for veterans.

The coronavirus has preyed on residents of nursing homes in New Jersey with lethal force, claiming more than 4,850 lives. Deaths at long-term care facilities now account for half of the state’s Covid-19 fatalities, well over the national rate.

But nowhere has the devastation been starker than at the New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus, a state-run home for former members of the U.S. military.

The home is built on the idea that those who served in the military are entitled to dignified care in their twilight years.

a group of pink flowers on a sidewalk: John Owens, who runs O’Loughlin’s Florist with his wife, Denise, helps a customer. © Elizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times John Owens, who runs O’Loughlin’s Florist with his wife, Denise, helps a customer.

Instead, in what some people have called a betrayal of this fundamental pact, the Paramus home is the site of one of the biggest outbreaks in the country.

The virus has swept through the facility, which in late March had 314 residents, infecting 60 percent of its patients. As of Sunday, 72 deaths there had been linked to the virus.

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The list of the dead is almost certain to grow: Of the remaining 211 veterans and their spouses, 120 had either tested positive for the virus or were awaiting results. About one in five staff members has contracted the virus, and one employee has died.

“The whole place is sick now,” said Mitchell Haber, whose 91-year-old father, Arnold, an Army veteran, died last month at the home, which is about 12 miles northwest of New York City.

“What they should really do is raze it and put a park there,’’ he said. “It’s like a mass shooting.”

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a series of new measures on Sunday to help protect the roughly 100,000 New Yorkers who are living in nursing homes, which have seen thousands of deaths due to the coronavirus.

He also warned that any nursing home operator that failed to provide appropriate care for each of its residents, whether because of a shortage of personal protective equipment, staff or inability to appropriately isolate patients, would lose its operating license.

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a man that is standing in the grass: Richard Giglio passed a kiss to his late wife, Maryann Giglio, on Sunday. © Elizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times Richard Giglio passed a kiss to his late wife, Maryann Giglio, on Sunday.

“The rule is very simple,” Mr. Cuomo said. “If a nursing home cannot provide care for a person and provide the appropriate level of care for any reason, they must transfer the person out of the facility.”

Nursing homes that cannot find an appropriate place to place a patient can call the state Department of Health to seek a transfer, the governor said. The state will then put the patient in one of roughly 40,000 excess-capacity hospital beds, including the Javits Center, that have been created statewide during the crisis.

Going forward, all nursing home workers statewide must be tested for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, twice a week, Mr. Cuomo said. Staff must wear masks, and workers dealing with virus-positive patients must wear appropriate personal protection equipment.

In another key change, hospitals are no longer permitted to discharge patients with the virus to nursing homes, the governor said. Instead, he said, they should either hold them or transfer them to a coronavirus-only facility.

A florist and a cemetery in Queens, open for one day only.

John and Denise Owens, whose family has owned O’Loughlin’s Florist in Queens, since 1965, opened their shop for the first time in weeks on Mother’s Day.

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Throughout a sunny morning and afternoon, they helped customers, who pulled their cars over on the side of the street, pick out crosses and wreaths made of vibrant, silk flowers to lay at loved ones’ headstones in the nearby Calvary Cemetery.

The coronavirus outbreak had upended O’Loughlin’s busiest time of the year, the spring weeks between Easter and Mother’s Day. “It’s been tough, it’s been really tough,” Mr. Owens said. “As far as being open, this is a one-day deal.”

The florist, in the Woodside section of the borough, has been closed since late March; Calvary Cemetery also closed its gates to visitors then. But the Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral decided to open the cemetery, which is under their care, for visitations on Mother’s Day. O’Loughlin’s followed suit.

Richard Giglio, 82, had stopped by O’Loughlin’s on his way to the cemetery to purchase a memorial candle to place at the grave of his wife, Maryann Giglio, who died last May. Before the pandemic, he visited the site weekly.

“I don’t know when I’ll be able to come here again,” Mr. Giglio said, holding back tears. At the cemetery, he lit the candle and pulled up fistfuls of long grass at the tombstone’s base.

He started to head back to his car but then walked back to the stone, pulling down his surgical mask to kiss and press his hand to his wife’s name inscribed in the stone. He repeated the gesture multiple times, unsure of the next time he would be able to return.

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As The New York Times follows the spread of the coronavirus across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, we need your help. We want to talk to doctors, nurses, lab technicians, respiratory therapists, emergency services workers, nursing home managers — anyone who can share what’s happening in the region’s hospitals and other health care centers.

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Reporting was contributed by Michael Gold, Elizabeth D. Herman, Azi Paybarah and Tracey Tully.

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