October 22, 2021

2 nursing home staffers recovered from virus

Official: No sign of spread to patients at Cortland Park facility

Metro Creative Graphics

Two staff members at Cortland Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center have recovered after contracting COVID-19, but no residents of the home contracted the virus, said Lisa Perfetti, Cortland County’s interim public health director.

The two staff members were isolated earlier this month, as per state guidance, as well as removed from work for the required 14-day period, she said. None of the center’s residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and there is no evidence that it spread to any of the residents.

Maureen Bard, the 120-bed center’s administrator, declined to comment on what contact the two workers had with patients or what jobs they held.

“We screen all employees prior to the start of their shifts,” she said in an email. “Any employee who fails the health screening is not allowed to work and referred to their doctor for appropriate follow-up. Employees continue to be tested weekly for COVID 19.”

All the center’s residents have been tested and are closely being monitored daily for increased temperatures or coronavirus symptoms, she added.

Seniors, in general, are more likely to die from COVID-19, state and national data show, and nursing home residents, in particular, are more likely to have compromised immune systems. Nearly 66% of the state’s coronavirus fatalities are of people over 70.

Nursing homes in New York have recorded 3,506 of the state’s 24,661 coronavirus deaths as of Wednesday, with 2,718 deaths presumed to be related to coronavirus, the state Health Department’s coronavirus tracker shows.

However, most nursing homes in the state, including three in Cortland County, went into lockdown mode in March, a week before the state required it, to reduce the chance that coronavirus would get into their facilities.

“The facility would like to thank the New York State Department of Health, Cortland County Health Department and Cortland County Office of Emergency Management for working very closely with our team at Cortland Park providing guidance and information on the current best strategies recommended to combat this pandemic,” Bard said.

Perfetti said all residents have been tested at least once.

She also said that contact tracing was completed by the Cortland County Health Department.

“As per New York State Department of Health, all appropriate protocols for the nursing home and the staff were followed and there is no evidence of disease spread,” she said.