Nursing homes are illegally evicting residents to make room for more profitable COVID-19 patients

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A nursing home resident is wheeled on a stretcher from an ambulance into the Canterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Richmond, VA, USA. Apr 14, 2020. Photo by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY NETWORK.

California is seeing a spike in new coronavirus cases as more of the economy reopens. On Monday, the state broke its single-day record, recording more than 6500 new cases. 

During a press conference on Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom said that hospitalizations are up 16% in the past two weeks: “We are not out of the first wave of this virus. Those that suggest we’re out of the woods, those that suggest this is somehow going to disappear, these numbers tell a very different and sobering story.”

Newsom has said that a spike in cases could force him to reinstate some restrictions, although he hasn’t given details on what that would look like. 

LA is the epicenter of the state’s outbreak, and LA County posted a record number of new cases in a single day on Monday — more than 2500.

LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says the latest figures show an 8% short-term positivity rate. That’s a big increase from a couple of weeks ago, when the county said the number was just over 5%. She says it’s not necessarily because of the protests, but likely because more people are out and socializing. 

Ferrer says more than half of all deaths in LA County are in institutional facilities like nursing homes.

To look at some of the problems at nursing homes, KCRW turns to Jessica Silver-Greenberg, investigative reporter for the New York Times. She found that nursing homes nationwide have been evicting long-time residents to make room for coronavirus patients, who can bring in more money.

Credits

Guest:
Jessica Silver-Greenburg - New York Times investigative reporter

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Caleigh Wells, Angie Perrin