ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — New data released by the Erie County Department of Health shows COVID-19 spreads rampant in nursing homes, with five facilities having positive rates higher than 14%.
The following nursing homes were reported to the Erie County Legislature for having COVID positive rates greater than 5% for the week ending November 21st:
- Autumn View Health Care Facility in Hamburg had a 14.3% positive rate.
- Eden Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Eden had a 70% positive rate.
- Garden Gate Health Care Facility in Cheektowaga had a 18.5% positive rate.
- Greenfield Health and Rehab center had a 17.5% positive rate.
- Harris Hill Nursing Facility, LLC in Williamsville had a 14.1% positive rate.
The Erie County Department of Health provided the data with "caveats." The health department stated, "The nursing home COVID case data sources may be multiple sources and received at different times." The department also noted the data could contain repeat positive COVID-19 tests.
Erie County Legislature Minority Leader Joe Lorigo said regardless, COVID-19 spread in nursing homes is an issue.
"What that tells me is these people living in nursing homes are not getting the attention and medical care they deserve. They're the most vulnerable to the virus. They're up in age and a lot of them already have health issues," Lorigo said.
He questioned why it took so long for the Erie County Legislature to receive the data from the health department. He said the legislature had been asking the department for the COVID rates among nursing homes for several months. A few weeks ago, Lorigo put forth a resolution to require the department of health to release the data. It passed unanimously.
Now, the health department has provided the county data for two consecutive weeks. The health department said they will continue to issue the legislature the data on a weekly basis.
"We're seeing exactly what we're afraid of. High rates of positivity. Deaths that are occurring on an all too frequent basis. Something needs to be done," Lorigo said.
Eden Rehabilitation and Nursing Center had 28 residents test positive out of 40 available beds, resulting in a 70% positive rate for the week ending November 21st. Lorigo said this concerns him and is a sign everyone needs to pay more attention to what's going on inside these facilities.
"They don't have the PPE and the protocols in place to protect the residents and the staff. That's been a huge problem. That's been a huge problem for nine months," Lorigo said.