The COVID Crisis: Uptowns Elected Officials Talk Isabella Geriatric Center Nursing Home Deaths (Spanish)

May 1, 2020

Today, Friday May 1st, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez was joined by Northern Manhattan Elected Officials to address the large number of residents who have died as result of COVID-19 at the Isabella Nursing Home in Washington Heights. We are facing the consequences of the failure of City and State leadership to appropriately protect the single most vulnerable group of New Yorkers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Nursing homes should have been the first to receive proper PPE equipment, staffing, and the resources to implement mass testing, which many elected officials and nursing homes have been calling for since the start of the pandemic.

“…I also join the call from my colleagues in a government lead by Harlem Congressman Adriano Espaillat asking the Isabella Nursing Home to share more information on how these events transpired so we can address and prevent this from occurring in any other Nursing Center.”

“We have said since the beginning of this pandemic that the City and the State need to work together to ensure that all nursing home centers have the resources and the supplies they need to prevent the spread of the Virus. The Isabella Nursing home has been pleading for more protective equipment, increase in staffing, and access to testing for their seniors,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, representing the 10th Council District, (Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill) “The Isabella center situation is not an isolated case. Senior centers across the City have been left to fend for themselves. This situation shows us that we need more concrete guidance and collaboration among the State and City government when it comes to helping our senior centers fight the Coronavirus pandemic. I also join the call from my colleagues in a government lead by Harlem Congressman Adriano Espaillat asking the Isabella Nursing Home to share more information on how these events transpired so we can address and prevent this from occurring in any other Nursing Center.”

Congressmember Adriano Espaillat said, “Many of New York’s nursing homes, such as the Isabella Center, are entirely drained – short on PPE, healthy staff, and financial resources. For nearly two months now, I have been calling on the Isabella Center to share their concerns and provide information and updates on residents and for families. Protecting seniors and health care workers should be a priority for each of us to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our most vulnerable residents during these challenging times.”

“Nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable in this pandemic, and the reports out of Isabella Nursing Home today are heartbreaking,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “State and city government leaders must act quickly to safeguard the health and well-being of seniors, starting with more transparency in reporting so that we know exactly what resources are needed to manage the problems.”

“Isabella Geriatric has been a beloved center in our community for decades. Many of our neighbors have lived and received services at Isabella. When the COVID-19 pandemic began we understood that the situation at Isabella would be difficult given the very vulnerable patients they care for. Our offices assisted Isabella with their needs for PPE and remained in constant communication with administrators. Earlier this week I was informed by the administration that the death toll was at 13. We have all been shocked to learn via media reports that the numbers and situation being reported to us is inaccurate,” said Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa. “While we will continue to assist Isabella through this pandemic for the safety of our neighbors, today we call for a full investigation as to what has occurred here.” said Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa “I am truly heartbroken by this news and I send my sincere condolences to all who have lost loved ones at this time.”


Washington Heights, NY– Hoy, viernes 1 de mayo, el Concejal Ydanis Rodríguez se unió a funcionarios electos del norte de Manhattan para responder a reportes de una gran cantidad de residentes que murieron de COVID-19 en el hogar de ancianos Isabella en Washington Heights. Estamos enfrentando las consecuencias del fracaso del liderazgo de la Ciudad y del Estado de proteger adecuadamente al grupo de neoyorquinos más vulnerable frente a la pandemia de COVID-19. Los hogares de ancianos deberían haber sido los primeros en recibir el equipo de protección personal adecuado, incrementos de personal y recursos para implementar pruebas de detección a todos sus residentes. Este ha sido el llamado que muchos funcionarios electos y hogares de ancianos han estado haciendo desde el comienzo de la pandemia.

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“Desde el comienzo de esta pandemia, hemos dicho que la Ciudad y el Estado deben trabajar juntos para garantizar que todos los centros de hogares de ancianos tengan los recursos y los suministros que necesitan para prevenir la propagación del Virus. El hogar de ancianos Isabella ha estado pidiendo más equipo de protección, aumento de personal y acceso a pruebas, para sus residentes”, dijo el Concejal Ydanis Rodríguez, representante del distrito 10 del Consejo Municipal (Washington Heights, Inwood y Marble Hill)”. La situación del centro Isabella no es un caso aislado. Se ha dejado que los centros para personas mayores en toda la ciudad se las arreglen solos. Esta situación nos muestra que necesitamos una orientación y colaboración más concretas entre el gobierno del estado y de la ciudad cuando se trata de ayudar a nuestros centros para personas de la tercera edad a combatir la pandemia del coronavirus. También me uno al llamado de mis colegas en el gobierno liderado por el Congresista Adriano Espaillat, pidiéndole a Isabella Nursing Home que comparta más información sobre cómo ocurrieron estos eventos para que podamos evitar que esto ocurra en cualquier otro centro de enfermería.”

Ydanis Rodriguez was elected to the New York City Council in 2009, representing the 10th Council District (Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill). An educator for 13 years, Ydanis co-founded Gregorio Luperon High School and the Washington Heights Health Academy. As a leading voice at the NYC Council, Ydanis has brought changes in transportation, education, economic development, housing, police reform, healthcare, environmental policy, and ensuring low-income families have an equitable path to middle class.

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