Grieving relatives sue facilities over COVID-19 deaths. Nursing homes say they’re immune

By Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, November 5 2021 Helena Apothaker holds a photograph of her and her mother, Catherine, in West Hollywood. Apothaker is suing Silverado Senior Living after her Catherine died of COVID-19 at a care facility near the Fairfax District. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times) Helena Apothaker was raw with grief for her mother, who had died of COVID-19 as the virus swept through a care facility in Beverly Grove, when she heard the news that infuriated her: The facility had admitted a new resident amid the pandemic.

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The Forgotten Nursing-Home Tragedy

Opinion by Jay Caspian Kang, New York Times, November 4 2021 For many of the most vulnerable people in our society, the pandemic has not let up. More than 186,000 residents and staff members of nursing homes and long-term-care facilities have already died of Covid-19. In March, the Covid Tracking Project estimated that nearly 1 in 10 people who lived in nursing homes in the United States had died of the virus.

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Nursing Home COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates Protect The Most Vulnerable, But Pose a Hidden Threat to Residents

By Tara Law, Time Magazine, September 2, 2021 Some two weeks before U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Aug. 18 that nursing homes must require their staff to get vaccinated or risk losing their Medicare and Medicaid funding, Genesis HealthCare, which manages about 250 facilities nationwide that offer long-term care and other services, had said its workers would need to be vaccinated.

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Most nursing homes won’t use pharmacy chains to administer coronavirus booster shots

By Lena H. Sun, The Washington Post, August 27 2021 Judie Shape, center, at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash., visited last year through the window of her room with her daughter Lori Spencer, left, and son-in-law Michael Spencer. (Ted S. Warren/AP) The Biden administration does not plan to rely on national pharmacy chains to give booster doses of coronavirus vaccines to millions of nursing home residents this fall, as officials did last winter, federal health officials said.

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Sadness and death: Inside the VA’s state nursing-home disaster

By Joanne Kenen, Allan James Vetal and Darius Tahir, Politico, August 24 2021 An image of veteran Harry Malandrinos is projected onto the home of his son, Paul Malandrinos, as he looks out a window with his wife, Cheryl, in Wilbraham, Mass., May 16, 2020. | David Goldman/AP Photo For years, the Veterans Affairs has spent upwards of $1 billion a year funding state-run nursing homes for veterans, while requiring only a single annual safety inspection, performed by an outside contractor.

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Licensing by clerical error: How the state’s mistake decided the course of two nursing homes

By Jocelyn Wiener, CalMatters, August 19 2021 Illustration by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters; iStock California Department of Public Health officials say they cannot fix their mistake, amid cries the licensing system for nursing homes is “broken and ineffective.” The state’s nursing home licensing system has long raised the ire of elder-care advocates.  Now, another misstep has sparked new frustration among both nursing home watchdogs and state lawmakers.  By its own admission, the California Department of Public Health incorrectly listed a controversial nursing home operator as holding permanent licenses for two Los Angeles-area nursing homes.

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Opinion: My father’s nursing home didn’t require vaccinations for its workers. It was a deadly decision.

Opinion by Louise Dubin, The Washington Post, August 16 2021 A nursing student administers the Moderna coronavirus vaccine in Las Vegas on April 26. (John Locher/AP) Louise Dubin is a cellist and writer based in New Jersey. Most of the residents at my father’s nursing home are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. But many of the staff members there — as at many other facilities across the United States — refuse vaccines.

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Nursing Homes Confront New Covid Outbreaks Amid Calls for Staff Vaccination Mandates

By Matt Richtel and Reed Abelson, New York Times, August 10 2021 Tina Sandri, the C.E.O. of Forest Hills Nursing Home in Washington, D.C., receiving the vaccine in February. About 60 percent of U.S. nursing home staff are vaccinated. Kenny Holston for The New York Times In late spring, the 142 nursing homes operated by the Good Samaritan Society hit a milestone that was unthinkable just four months earlier: Zero cases of Covid-19 across the whole company, from 900 at the peak of the pandemic.

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Nursing Homes May Face Steeper Safety Fines

By Reed Abelson, New York Times, July 28 2021 The Biden administration has quietly undone a Trump policy that severely restricted penalties imposed on facilities that violated safety standards. Maureen McKinney of Ellensburg, Wash., was “horrified” by the minimal penalty imposed at a nursing home where a Covid-19 outbreak claimed the lives of 15 residents, including her husband’s. 

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Controversial Nursing Home Mogul Faces Hearing Over Disputed Facilities

Aaron Mendelson, LAist, July 19 2021 Solorzano photographed in 2018 with Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose campaign ReNew supported with $20,000. Newsom donated $10,000 of that to charity after our investigation was published in April.(Screenshot from ReNew’s Instagram account/California Secretary of State) The letters from the state’s public health department to nursing home mogul Crystal Solorzano were blunt: “You have not provided evidence satisfactory to be licensed.” Solorzano, whose Southern California-based ReNew Health is connected to nursing homes throughout the state, had applied to acquire nine additional facilities in April 2020.

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