SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — COVID-19 has once again dug its teeth into nursing homes throughout the state.
In Onondaga County alone, at least one-fourth of hospitalizations this week are nursing home residents who tested positive for the virus.
“And senior facility residents. When you look at our loss of life numbers, it’s over half,” said County Executive Ryan Mcmahon at a press briefing on Monday.
But for those able to beat COVID-19, they need a place to stay before heading home.
“Initially, once they were treated in a hospital, they could come back to their residence with us and finish their recovery, but the department of health changed that regulation around April,” said Julie Sheedy, Chief Marketing and Engagement Officer at Loretto.
Nursing home residents hospitalized with COVID now have to test negative before going back to their facility, which could take a month. That’s why two weeks ago, Loretto opened a COVID-only unit in its Fahey building. They expanded on that unit, opening another floor on Tuesday. They’re taking care of patients who are still testing positive for the virus but don’t need hospital-level care.
“This is a needed initiative for our hospitals to help them not get past their capacity. And turn this county into a red zone,” Sheedy said.
The COVID units have the capacity to hold 88 patients, with 44 people in each unit. So far, they’re caring for 58 patients. Those patients can come from outside of Onondaga County, if necessary.
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For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter @JuliaLeBlancNC9.