SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Loretto’s CEO tells NewsChannel 9 its nursing homes and assisted living facilities have had “zero” cases of coronavirus.
Nursing homes are notorious breeding grounds for the coronavirus because how close residents live to one another and because COVID-19 can be deadly among the oldest and most vulnerable people.
CEO Kim Townsend credits stopping the virus on her early ban on visitors entering her facilities and screening workers before their shift begins.
The screening process prevented seven Loretto employees who turned out to have coronavirus from coming into contact with nursing home residents.
The success doesn’t mean all of Loretto is coronavirus-free. Loretto is required by the State Health Department to admit coronavirus-positive patients who are sent there after hospital discharge.
In its Fahey building on Brighton Avenue in Syracuse, Loretto installed a negative-pressure, independent air supply with double barriers to other parts of the building.
In that special isolation unit, nurses have treated up to 10 COVID-19 patients at one time. Currently, the CEO said there were eight or nine admitted.
Loretto’s CEO is working to take care of her staff of 2,500 by feeding them, offering gallons of milk and masks to take home and offering diapers and formula for workers who have young children at home.
The Nottingham, one of the company’s owned independent-living retirement communities had six contained cases. Because it’s not too different a private apartment building, the cases spreading weren’t as worrisome as a nursing home.
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For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan.