Mount Sinai West Nurse Dies of COVID-19; Hospital Grieves And Says ‘We Must Carry On’

Photo by: Mount Sinai Health Network.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Kious Kelly, an assistant nurse manager at Mount Sinai West, died Tuesday night of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Little is known about Kelly yet; his picture, posted on Twitter, shows a man in his 40s. His sister told the New York Post he had “severe asthma.” Kelly and his sister we’re texting until “he stopped responding about a week ago,” according to the Post. His sister said she is “absolutely” certain Kelly contracted the virus at work.

Several doctors and nurses in the city have gotten infected as they battle the disease. Anxiety has risen about shortages of protective equipment meant to keep them safe. Nurses told the Post that Mt. Sinai West did not have enough protective equipment for workers, a statement the hospital vehemently denied.

Here is Mount Sinai’s statement as of Thursday morning:

The safety and protection of all Mount Sinai staff and patients is always – and will always be — our absolute top priority, but especially during the COVID-19 crisis. When it comes to staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), the facts are very clear: we always provide all our staff with the critically important PPE they need to safely do their job. If an individual does not have their proper PPE, they do not go on the floor, period. Any suggestion otherwise is simply not accurate.

This crisis is straining the resources of all New York area hospitals and while we do – and have had – enough protective equipment for our staff, we will all need more in the weeks ahead. This crisis is only growing and it’s essential that we not only have all the right equipment but that we come together to help and support one another. This week we lost a member of our family. We are grieving deeply for his loss, but we must carry on and continue to do what we do best: save lives.

NEWS | 22 comments | permalink
    1. Bruce Bernstein says:

      it’s a lot more than “several” health care providers who have gotten infected.

      See the video in NYT today about NYC H+H/Elmhurst’s Emergency department.

    2. UWSider says:

      My heart goes out to the family of this hero.

    3. UWSHebrew says:

      If this city and country gets through this terrible time, I demand a ticker-tape parade down Fifth Avenue for all the nurses and doctors of NYC who have literally put their lives on the line to treat the infected. Unlike sports athletes we given parades for, THESE ARE TRUE HEROES!

    4. DC says:

      I can’t help but think about all the people who feel the need to go out and about right now, and what a slap in the face it is to the hard working people at hospitals. People still so ignorant and selfish to not isolate.

      These hospital workers are the epitomy of the word hero.

      • Juan says:

        The only thing that makes it worse is those who insist on wearing a mask for a simple walk down the street. If you are so at risk that you need a mask to go for a walk, you shouldn’t be leaving the home. The health care workers need these masks more than you do – there is a huge shortage. On my rare walks outside, I see countless people wearing masks. Most of them are just being selfish.

        • Martin Y says:

          Everyone should act as if they are contagious. If they own and reside one mask they are stopping the spread.

    5. uws says:

      My his memory be a blessing.

    6. thanks says:

      Rest in peace hero.

    7. Gar says:

      Too soon for such a fine, professional young man. He truly completed his duty and more. May peace guide you to place of calmness and hope.

    8. Ramon says:

      Rest in Peace my friend.I will miss seeing you at work.

    9. Carol says:

      Lots of people with chronic conditions or medical issues or disabilities are “apparently healthy”-looking. Are things medical aren’t visible or apparent.

    10. NYYgirl says:


    11. V Bowling says:

      The death of this young hero is a total disaster. I checked into Mount Sinai West on Feb 21st not being able to breath with pneumonia. No one at Mount Sinai West were wearing masks and all patients were shoulder to shoulder. They were so busy that it was not possible to lie down for hours. They were totally unprepared for COIVD-19 despite the global concerns even at that time. The corporate world was already putting travel bans in place and no handshakes at conferences. So how can an emergency room not have had more prepardness in place? RIP to dear Mr Kelly.

    12. Jane UWS says:

      New guideline should be no Dr. or Nurse or health care worker with asthma or respiratory problems work on Covid-19 virus cases. Put them on another floor or dept.! They are way too vulnerable!
      RIP Kelly you were heroic!

    13. Kevin Bliss says:

      Very sad. Thank you Mr. Kelly for your unselfishness and remarkable courage putting yourself in harms way to help others. Rest in peace.

    14. Paul of NYC says:

      I remember him from my recent hospital stay.

    15. D says:

      Thank you healthcare works for all you do. RIP Kious Kelly. My your family find peace in knowing you lost your life helping others. The greatest sacrifice.

    16. ED RN says:

      I am an RN at MMW and I will confirm that we did not have the proper and/or enough ppe. We were told n95 masks were not needed, as per the CDC, and given 1 regular mask PER SHIFT. In my opinion, the hospital was not prepared for covid, but I also believe that NO hospital, especially in NY, was prepared. I have no respect for the CDD as they changed their standards based on available resources. Most EDs are short staffed already, and now with covid we have our own colleagues out sick… We are working extra hours and shifts and risking our own health and the health of our families. We don’t deserve a parade, we deserve the proper resources to fight this deadly pandemic. Thank you all of you who have supported us and thank you to all of you who just showed your appreciation! Every day it seems someone has sent pizza, sandwiches, food, even masks to show their appreciation. It’s truly humbling. And RIP Kious, he was not only an amazing person, but his dedication to his patients was nothing short of angelic. Stay healthy!!!

    17. Kg says:

      In an interview with a Wuhan doctor treating COVID-19, they are required to wear three layers of medical gloves, jumpsuit with a hood,air tight goggles and shoe coverings. They must also suit up with another partner.
      Why don’t we listen to the studies in Wuhan?

    18. SharpeyedLooker says:

      Those who’d like to read a very fine, contextual, longer tribute to Mr Kelly can find it on the Gay City News website.