EAST NEW YORK, Brooklyn — Community advocates and nurses who work at Linden Center nursing home in East New York described to PIX11 an environment of lack of personal protective equipment and improper handling of dead bodies.
They are now demanding a state and city investigation
“The bodies are being stored in a room,” said nurse Alexis Lewis. “The way they store the bodies, we can get sick.”
Lewis has been a certified nurse for 20 years. Now, she finds herself on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak. She and her coworkers are now the last source of comfort for so many dying patients that are some of the most defenseless victims of COVID-19.
“Since the pandemic started, we are at over 25 bodies,” she added.
Nurses, alongside community advocates, said they are exposing a horrifying situation inside Linden Center. With the morgue only being able to store up to four bodies, they said at least a dozen corpses are being kept in the same room with the air conditioning turned on high.
Only Tuesday was a refrigerated truck brought in, they said.
Just as troubling, the workers at Lincoln Center said they have not been given enough of the proper personal protectice equipment. Now, they’re pleading with state and city officials to help.
“You go to other neighborhoods, you’ve been to Javits Center, you’ve been to Westchester. Come to the neighborhood in East New York and help these workers get the proper equipment they need,” said Rev. Kevin McCall.
PIX11 News heard back from an attorney for Linden center. They maintain there’s an adequate supply of PPE and that they have reached an agreement with the union to provide hazard pay. Richard Brum, general counsel for Linden Center, issued the following statement to PIX11:
“Linden Center has an adequate supply of PPE, and we have reached an agreement with the union to provide hazard pay for our employees beyond what is required by their collective bargaining agreement. Arrangements have been made for a temporary morgue at the facility which will help alleviate the backlog at local morgues and funeral homes. Like all medical facilities on the front lines, Linden Center is treating COVID-19 patients as required by the Department of Health. We are doing everything in our power to provide critical care to the vulnerable and protect our brave staff and residents.”