COVID-19 in three Steuben County nursing homes, 48 active cases in residents/staff

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STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) – In a conference call on Friday afternoon, Steuben County confirmed that there are 48 active cases of COVID-19 in three nursing facilities: Hornell Gardens, Elderwood at Hornell, and Fred & Harriett Taylor Health.

Health officials in the county say that those three facilities have been the only nursing facilities in the county that have had confirmed cases. No confirmed cases have been reported at the Bath VA Medical Center, but testing has been conducted.

Additionally, three Hornell Garden residents who first tested negative and were moved to a facility in Waterloo later tested positive and were transported back to Hornell Gardens.

Of the 33 COVID-19 deaths in Steuben County, 24 (72%) have been nursing home residents who either died in a nursing home or at the hospital. At least 10 have died in Hornell Gardens, four in Elderwood, and 1 in Harriet Taylor.

Additionally, the county is not calling for any investigations, at this time, in any nursing facilities. They also do not currently have any specific requests out to New York State.

Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler said that the county was adamant about not allowing any staff who tested positive but were asymptomatic to work with other residents who tested positive.

County Health Director Darlene Smith provided a timeline of events for COVID-19 in Steuben County.

  • April 6-7: Steuben County requested the State Department of Health assist in testing a Hornell nursing home that had ill residents and staff.
  • April 8-9: Conducted testing at the Hornell nursing home, believed to be Hornell Gardens.
  • April 9-10: 46 positive test results returned for Hornell nursing facility
  • April 10: Steuben County says they were not allowed to join a call with the State DOH and the owner of a nursing home, believed to be Hornell Gardens.
  • April 10: Steuben County requests guidance from State DOH, which it did not receive
  • April 13: Concerns grew regarding a Hornell facility and a call was held with State DOH and the facility owner to move residents to a facility in Waterloo.
  • April 15: Steuben County requests state to conduct testing at a second Hornell facility, believed to be Elderwood at Hornell, but received no response from the state. Steuben County conducted their own testing with the help of UMR, St. James, and volunteers
  • April 16: Partnered with a Harriet Taylor in Bath to conduct testing, found 16 positive staff and residents

Steuben County also received four shipments of personal protective equipment from the New York State stockpile on undisclosed dates.

On April 13, Hornell Gardens made a public request for more PPE from the local and state government.

Smith would later describe the pandemic as “the likes of which we’ve never seen before and hopefully never see again.”

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