In further compliance with a court order obtained by the Empire Center, the Health Department has provided data on an additional 647 suspected pandemic deaths in New York nursing homes.

The dates and location of those deaths—involving nursing home residents with “presumed” COVID-19 infections who died in hospitals—had been omitted from the department’s initial data release on Feb. 10, which covered more than 14,000 deaths in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

On Feb. 12, at the request of the Empire Center, the department turned over the additional information on those 647 presumed pandemic fatalities, which will be added to the center’s database.

Still to be resolved is another category that was missing from the Feb. 10 release: the deaths of almost 1,000 residents of so-called “other adult-care facilities.”

At issue is the technical distinction between “adult-care facilities,” which provide non-medical support to their residents, and a sub-category of that group known as “assisted living facilities.”

The Empire Center’s FOIL request of Aug. 3 sought records of “COVID-19-related deaths of residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.” Throughout most of the pandemic, however, the state reported deaths in all adult-care facilities as a single group.

This changed on the weekend of Feb. 6—six months after the Empire Center’s FOIL and shortly after O’Connor’s order was issued—when the department divided its reporting on adult-care facilities into two smaller groups: “assisted living facilities” and “other adult-care facilities.” When the department released data in response to the court order on Feb. 10, the first group was included and the second was not.

Since there was no reason to believe that the Empire Center wanted a portion of adult-care facilities excluded, we believe this omission was unwarranted under Justice O’Connor’s order.

The center has requested further detail on COVID deaths in “other adult care facilities” and is awaiting DOH’s response.

The updated information has been added to the Empire Center’s database of nursing home fatalities, available here. A full timeline of the Empire Center’s FOIL request process and lawsuit can be found here.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family. 

You may also like

Hundreds of $100k Overtime Earners, Despite Drop in Total Overtime

More than 400 employees were paid at least $100,000 in overtime and 667 earned more in overtime than in regular pay. Read More

2020 State Payroll Now Posted at SeeThroughNY

The complete 2020 New York state government payroll is now posted on, the Empire Center’s government transparency website.  Read More

New York Spends More than All Other States on Education and Medicaid

New York’s spending on education and Medicaid will leave a hole in the budget after federal COVID relief money runs out Read More

Legislative Spending in Campaign Year Includes $7 Million in Postage

State lawmakers spent $7.3 million on postage for campaign-style mailings to constituents in the six-month run-up to last year’s elections Read More

New York on Track to Experience Largest Decline in Public School Enrollment in Decades, Report Shows

New York public schools are on track to experience the largest decline in enrollment since 1981 Read More

New Yorkers Deserve Full Transparency on COVID-19

Leaders from nine groups across New York have come together urging full transparency on all publicly-classified aspects of the COVID-19 emergency, including the state's response. Data Sets Mad Read More

Cuomo Administration Approves Additional $45 Million in Pork Spending in 2020, Analysis Finds

The Cuomo administration approved more than $45 million in new pork-barrel capital grants last year.  Read More

REPORT: New York’s Proposed Nursing Home Fixes Cause for Concern

Second Deadliest Nursing Home Already in State’s hands Read More


Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.


Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130


The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo "...the Empire Center is the think tank that spent months trying to pry Covid data out of Mr. Cuomo's government, which offered a series of unbelievable excuses for its refusal to disclose...five months after it (the Empire Center) sued, Team Cuomo finally started coughing up some of the records." -Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2021