Caregiving Solutions: How some nursing homes avoided COVID-19 spikes

Feb 25, 2021

Workers outside the Slate Valley Nursing Home Center in Granville, NY
Credit Courtesy WGRZ.com

WGRZ has joined the Solutions Journalism Network and, along with The Buffalo News, Rochester Democrat & Chronical, Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, Minority Reporter, Niagara Gazette, WBFO, WHEC and WXXI, is looking into a variety of stories as they relate to how nursing homes handled the pandemic, while focusing on caregivers on the front lines.



 2 On Your Side spoke to Buffalo News reporters Lou Michel and Scott Scanlon, who found a nursing home that has been able to keep the crippling effects of the pandemic out of their facility through September of 2020. "Imagine if you are the loved one of someone living under siege with Alzheimer's disease, or dementia confused enough as it is," Scanlon said. "Now you have this invisible invader that is causing you and everyone you live with to hunker down." Nationwide, nursing homes represent 6% of positive COVID-19 cases, but that 6% accounts for 39% of overall COVID-19 deaths.  In New York State, 21% of COVID-19 deaths stemmed from nursing homes.  But there have been a number of nursing homes in New York state that have operated fairly effectively with a culture of caring.  
 Read the entire Buffalo News Story HERE Looking at state health records, and data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services the Buffalo News identified 16 nursing home facilities in New York that were able to largely keep COVID-19 at bay. "The facility that really shined was the Slate Valley Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing," said Michel.  That facility is located in Granville, NY in Washington County, on the Vermont border. "One of the things and we believe that it's the most important involved in a spread of COVID-19 in a nursing home is that most of these nursing homes were in communities, where the Coronavirus spread was very light," Scanlon said. "So they had very low positive test rates."