Three Greene County residents have died due to COVID-19, the public health department said in a release Thursday evening.
“Three Greene County residents have died due to causes related to Covid-19,” according to the statement. “All three were senior citizens who had pre-existing medical conditions.”
All three residents were hospitalized, Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore said, with two in Albany and one patient at Columbia Memorial Health.
One of the residents was a hospice patient, Linger added.
Linger was unsure if any other residents are in critical condition, he said Friday morning.
“We have some that are hospitalized,” he said. “I don’t know what condition they are in.”
The county has five COVID-19 patients that are hospitalized, according to the public health department.
Residents may notice a difference in reporting between the state and county websites, Linger said.
“The state website is not going to show a death in Greene County,” he said. “It’s reported in the county where they’re in the hospital.”
For example, the state reports that 13 people died in Columbia County, 12 of which were residents. No fatalities were listed for Greene County on the state’s website.
With a shortage of test kits, the county is requesting 300 tests from the state, Linger said.
Additionally the county placed an order for 1,000 test kits, which will either be paid for with grant money from the state Department of Health or with taxpayer dollars and then reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he said.
The county’s initial supply of 100 kits from the state was quickly depleted when a resident at The Pines at Catskill Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation tested positive on April 10. The public health department used 89 tests at The Pines, Linger said. The Pines had its own supply of tests, which has also run out, Linger said. Greene County’s initial supply of 100 kits from the state was quickly depleted when a resident at The Pines at Catskill Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation tested positive on April 10. The public health department used 89 tests at The Pines, Linger said. The Pines had its own supply of tests, which has run out.
At The Pines, 17 residents and nine staff members tested positive for the virus. Only the first patient, who tested positive April 10, was symptomatic and required hospitalization. No additional cases have been reported from the facility, Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden confirmed Friday.
The Pines has made adjustments to combat the spread of the virus, Linger said.
“They have moved some patients around, so positive patients are in with other positives,” he said. “Quarantined are not with non-quarantined. They changed staff movements as well, so staff are not moving between floors and between wings.”
In addition to The Pines, the county performed testing at Home Sweet Home on the Hudson in Catskill.
“I don’t believe there were any positives,” Linger said.
Staff from The Dialysis Center in the Greene Medical Arts Center traveled to the Valatie Care Centers for testing Thursday because neither Greene County nor Columbia Memorial Health had tests to provide, Linger said.
When more tests arrive, Greene County’s public health department plans to do more testing at The Pines and The Dialysis Center, and begin testing at Greene Meadows Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center, Linger said.
“[The testing] was either requested or made a priority through Public Health,” Linger said. “There may have been some contact tracing that fed back toward one of these facilities, so then public health would then have to prioritize that.”
With eight deaths, 23 positive cases and three hospitalized residents, Pine Haven Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Philmont has the largest cluster in Columbia County.
Pine Haven spokesman Geoff Thompson, of Thompson & Bender in Westchester, confirmed there have been eight deaths related to COVID-19 at the senior-living facility.
An additional 11 residents are in isolation, and nine have recovered.
The 120-bed facility received 12 testing kits from the Columbia County Department of Health last week and a few more this week.
“There’s no shortage of other supplies, either, other protective devices or anything else,” Thompson said.
Pine Haven currently has 87 residents. Before COVID-19, the nursing home had 118 residents, but some have been removed by their families.
Columbia County owned and operated Pine Haven until it was sold in August of 2015 for $6.5 million. Jacob Sod owns 47.5%, Jonathan Bleier owns 47.5% and Bruce Peckman owns 5%.
Columbia County also entered into an Operations Transfer and Surrender Agreement with Pine Haven Operating, LLC.
Both transactions were approved by the state’s DOH Public Health and Health Planning Council.
Columbia County Public Health Educator Victoria McGahan had information that conflicted with Thompson’s numbers at Pine Haven, and said as of Friday, April 17, Pine Haven has 26 positive cases and seven resident deaths.
Livingston Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center had one positive case being treated in the hosptial, and the resident’s roommate is in isolation as a precautionary measure, Desiree Kraft, admissions and marketing director for Livingston Hills, said Friday.
FASNY Firemen’s Home in Hudson and Ghent Rehabilitation and Nursing Center have no confirmed cases.
Nursing home testing is included in the total number of cases reported at the county level in Columbia.
“We do not separate out the number of tests conducted at nursing homes from our total number of tests in Columbia County,” McGahan said.
Nursing homes are required to accept people who have been released from the hospital. The policy has not changed since the COVID-19 outbreak.
On Friday, members of the New York delegation in Congress sent a bipartisan letter to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requesting funds to prioritize nursing-home funding in COVID-19 “hot spots.”
“We demand that nursing homes, which were not addressed in the initial distribution, receive their fair share to combat the lethal threat of COVID-19,” according to the letter.
The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, both D-N.Y., and U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19.
The state Department of Health reported at least 2,000 statewide deaths from COVID-19 in nursing homes.