Homeless New Yorkers are dying from the new corona virus at more than twice the rate of the urban population, a new report shows.
The homeless mortality rate for people who slept in shelters was 321 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to the New York City average of 200 per 100,000.
That is a percentage that is 61 percent higher than that of the general population, according to interest group Coalition for the Homeless.
Between March 1 and May 31, 86 homeless people died from the highly contagious disease in the Big Apple.
The pandemic is particularly challenging for the homeless as they are unable to quarantine themselves, find social distance in overcrowded shelters, and have insufficient access to health care.
A new report showed that the moron rate of coronavirus for homeless New Yorkers sleeping in shelters was 321 deaths per 100,000 people – 61% higher compared to the New York City average of 200 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 (above)
The deaths from coronavirus in April 2020 among homeless people in New York in shelters were 157% higher than the number of homeless deaths from all causes in 2019 (above)
Between March 1 and May 31, 86 homeless people died of COVID-19 in New York City. Pictured: NYPD officers wake up sleeping passengers and lead them to the exits at 207th Street A train station on April 30
For the report, the team reviewed fatal data from the NYC Department of Homeless Services and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
They found that as of June 1, the total death rate in New York City from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, was 200 deaths per 100,000 people.
But for homeless New Yorkers living in shelters, the death rate was 321 deaths per 100,000 people – about 61 percent higher.
The reported death rate in New York State was 152 deaths per 100,000 people, making the homeless death rate 111 percent higher.
The report also found that in April alone, 58 homeless New Yorkers died of COVID-19, 54 of whom lived in shelters.
By comparison, last year about 34 homeless people died, including 21 in shelters.
This means that the number of coronavirus deaths among homeless people in New York in April was 157 percent higher than the number of homeless deaths from all causes in 2019.
“Government responses at every level were far too slow to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, leading to chaos for those who slept in shelters, on the street, and on the subway,” the report’s authors read.
Coalition for the Homeless said there are a number of reasons why the death rate is higher for homeless New Yorkers.
This includes inability to take social distance from shelters, insufficient amounts of soap in the bathroom to wash their hands, and staff shortages that prevent shared areas from being cleaned frequently.
Meanwhile, unsecured homeless people face even greater challenges in staying safe due to a lack of access to cleaning supplies such as hand sanitizer and wipes.
The organization asks the city for various policy changes to keep homeless people healthy.
This includes offering thousands of single hotel rooms to all homeless people, implementing free coronavirus testing, reversing the closure of the metros between 1am. and 5 a.m. and ensure that all unsecured homeless people have access to basic hygiene supplies.
It doesn’t take long for a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find that 25 percent of homeless shelters tested positive for the coronavirus.
To protect homeless shelter residents and staff from infection, the CDC suggests taking guidelines for social distance.
This means that the head of the residents is at least two meters apart while sleeping and that all residents wear masks or fabric coverings.
The authors also recommend ensuring that all residents and employees are tested, whether they have symptoms or not, in shelters where clusters have been identified
In the US, there are more than two million confirmed cases of the virus – 205,000 of those in New York City – and more than 113,000 deaths.