- Rich Klein
EXCLUSIVE: 22 OF 28 CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN COUNTY TIED TO CARE CENTER IN LIBERTY
Twenty-two of the 28 deaths from coronavirus reported by the County Health Department were patients who were infected at the Care Center at Sunset Lake and who later died at Catskill Regional Hospital, according to three independent sources who did not want to be identified and who do not know each other.
Just five deaths have been reported by the County to New York State Department of Health.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken much heat for the state's delay in reporting both cases and fatalities at nursing homes. In fact, the state continues to only report fatalities (and not cases) but the information is inaccurate as many nursing homes are not being transparent with their information. The SullivanTimes this morning emailed Dan Hust, director of communications for the County (which operates the Care Center) asking for confirmation on the reported 22 deaths.
One of the sources also said that employees who came in close contact with those who tested positive have not been quarantined and were forced to come to work regardless. Another source told The SullivanTimes that the director of nursing is refusing to comply with Governor Cuomo's order that all nursing home employees be tested at least twice per week. (Nursing homes around the state and their associations have pushed back on that requirement).
On April 17, Sullivan County Health & Family Services Commissioner Stephanie Brown announced that 41 new cases of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) were confirmed at the Care Center. At the time, they were in addition to six previously announced cases. The first case of coronavirus in the county back in March came from the facility.
“Thirty-three residents and eight staff members at our nursing home tested positive this week for the virus,” said Public Health Director Nancy McGraw on April 17.. “The employees have been self-isolating since receiving their results, and the residents have been moved into an isolation ward at the Care Center. Administration and Public Health continue to monitor the situation closely in collaboration with the NYS Department of Health.”