December 1, 2021

7 die of COVID in Cortland nursing homes

coronavirus particles

Seven residents of Cortland County nursing homes have died of COVID-19, the Cortland County and state health departments announced Wednesday.

“We want to convey our sincerest sympathies to the families and friends of these latest deaths and extend our heartfelt thanks to the staff of our local nursing homes who are working tirelessly to care for our most vulnerable citizens,” states a news release from the county.

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities report to the state Department of Health, which regulates those agencies, according to the release.

Eric Mulvihill, clerk of the Cortland County Legislature, said the county did not have information about which nursing homes saw deaths. Even if it did, he added, it would not likely publicize it.

“We don’t want to stigmatize one home over the other,” he said. “If you knew, what could you do? The nursing homes are working to deal with this as best they can.”

Calls to families and statements by family members showed there were cases at Cortland Park for both residents and staff. Guthrie officials said in November that it moved two of its skilled nursing unit patients to a separate isolation area at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center to treat their coronavirus.

Across the state, 4,427 nursing home patients have been confirmed among the state’s 28,100 coronavirus deaths. Another 2,783 nursing home patients were presumed to have died of coronavirus.

“Cortland County continues to see rapid spread of COVID-19 and are realizing the impacts in the form of increased hospitalizations and deaths,” the release states. “Each of us has the ability to make decisions that will help limit the spread and we encourage everyone to wear your masks, limit activities outside of your home and continue to wash your hands frequently.”

Nursing homes locked down in March, restricting visits from family and friends, and checking staff routinely for symptoms of coronavirus. Among the first people in New York receiving the
Elderly people are among the people most vulnerable to coronavirus. Two-thirds of the coronavirus deaths in New York have been patients over 70.