SCHENECTADY COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Notes were passed out to every Schenectady County Glendale Home resident Monday and again Tuesday morning. One anonymous woman says she was shocked and scared to learn five nursing and rehab staff members tested positive for coronavirus. It hit home for her mother, who’s a fairly recent resident there.
“Two of the caregivers were in contact with her it was heartbreaking to hear. The caregivers Perseus, have been very caring and to hear that really concerned me,” the anonymous caller says.
Schenectady County confirms the five cases and says they got the results after completing their weekly test of all nursing home staff.
“It was a cook, it was a cleaner, it was a CNA, it was a nurse, so it really will spread across the nursing home itself,” explains County Manager Rory Fluman.
He says this shows him the cluster wasn’t caused by mishandling safety practices inside the facility. He says there’s been a mandatory mask policy since March and there still hasn’t been a single sick resident since testing in May. He believes there’s a different source of the staff catching COVID-19.
“When you look at how and why that happened, you know we are two weeks out from July 4. So the belief is that a lot of activities and July 4 and socially, or maybe not socially distancing, could have caused this recent infection,” Fluman explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.
He says the New York State Department of Health is officially involved and will assist with response.
“We have to do our testing through Wadsworth. They are going to accept our samples on Thursday of this week, so we are testing beginning tomorrow and Wednesday every patient in the building, and then that will go to Wadsworth on Thursday and hopefully by the weekend or certainly by Monday we should have results,” Fluman says.
The anonymous caller says it’s hard for her not even being able to comfort her mom, who’s in her nineties.
“It’s a helpless situation, it’s helpless, it truly is it truly is. Her voice was shaking. I think she’s scared, I honestly do,” she explains.
“Nobody wants families back in the building more than the staff people themselves. The obvious level of patient care that a staff person can give is only so much, and that’s why it just benefits everyone to have family in the building as well. Unfortunately, at the moment we can’t do that,” Fluman says.
He adds the infected staff members will be on pandemic pay while quarantined the next two weeks and the county is working on contact tracing.