Fears grow for family with loved one in group home for people with disabilities


CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A local family continues sharing concerns with NEWS10 about their loved one’s care in a state-run group home during COVID-19. A Capital Region woman, who at this time wants to remain anonymous, says her sister’s group home is now under quarantine for the third time since March.

She claims that not only did her sister contract the virus a couple of months ago, but one of the other three residents died from it.

She added that, because the house has been under quarantine and residents only left for limited doctor’s appointments, it must’ve been spread by staff that comes in and out of the house.

In regards to this most recent outbreak, the woman said, “I was told that staff came in, tested positive, and went home.”

NEWS10 gave the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities the opportunity to comment on the alleged situation at this group home, providing them with other details such as its location, but the response did not directly address the allegations, saying:

“Testing is prioritized for people receiving supports from OPWDD or our service providers who display symptoms of COVID-19, or who have had recent contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19. Precautionary quarantines are taken in our homes to limit any spread of the virus when there has been contact with someone who has tested positive or who is believed to be positive, and all staff are fully trained on infection control measures and PPE use to ensure the continued safety and security of the people we support.”

The concerned family member fears that, because there is not mandatory periodical testing of staff at group home like there once was in nursing homes, her sister will continue to be put at risk, and be confined to the home under quarantine, unable to socialize outside of the house and attend her programs for even longer.

“It’s very, I think, depressing for them,” the anonymous woman said, “and it’s constricting, and I don’t think it helps their intellectual capacities either.”

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