One of the approximately 100 residents of The Sentinel of Amsterdam Assisted Living Community has tested positive for COVID-19.
Montgomery County Public Health Director Sara Boerenko confirmed the positive case Sunday.
Boerenko said due to the Easter Sunday holiday no further information would be released Sunday.
A news conference will be held at the county’s emergency management center at 1 p.m. Monday and broadcast via Facebook live.
As of Saturday, Montgomery County was reporting 33 lab-confirmed COVID-19-positive cases. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus.
A COVID-19 infection in an assisted living facility or nursing home is particularly dangerous given the higher fatality rates among people over the age of 60.
As of Sunday, there have been 9,385 deaths of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in New York state, and of them 83.7 percent have been over the age of 60. Men are also more likely to die from the disease, accounting for 59.6 percent of the fatalities.
Andrea Davis, the director of compliance for Polaris Healthcare Services which owns the Sentinel, confirmed one female person living at the facility received the results of a positive test for COVID-19 on Saturday, but she was uncertain when the person was tested. She said state and local officials were contacted after the test was revealed to be positive.
“I am not in the building, so I’m not exactly sure what the precursor was to the test, but, at the current time [Sunday evening] the patient is still not exhibiting any symptoms, according to the facility,” she said. “I’m the director of compliance for all 12 buildings, and this is the common denominator that we’re are seeing now, that [positive tested individuals] are not exhibiting symptoms.”
Davis said her company operates assisted living facilities in Troy, the town of Catskill, Port Jervis and Middletown. They also operate a large adult home in New Rochelle.
“Right in the epicenter,” she said, referencing the high number of COVID-19 cases in New Rochelle.
Davis described some of the steps being taken at The Sentinel of Amsterdam.
“We have no other positive results in that facility from any employee or additional resident, she’s the only one that’s tested positive, but [Monday] 27 residents and employees will be tested — none of them have symptoms though. We’re doing it proactively,” she said. “Public Health has requested that all staff that has come in contact with the person who tested positive be tested on Monday at their location.”
Davis said the Montgomery County Department of Public Health provided the Sentinel with “contracts” for their employees to sign regarding their submission to COVID-19 testing.
Boerenko clarified that her office distributes “court orders” mandating quarantines, but not contracts.
“When we place someone on a 14-day quarantine, it is a legal document stating a person must comply with the order or we can pursue an involuntary court order which could result in a person facing criminal charges if they refuse to follow the quarantine,” Boerenko said.
Davis said all residents have also been quarantined to their rooms.
“They had already been quarantined prior to this, with precautionary [trash] bins, gowns, gloves, hand sanitizers, face shields, N95 masks, a garbage can with a lid is now in front of this resident’s room,” she said. “This resident was provided with her own wrist blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter and thermometer. The med techs were assigned per shift to deliver all [medications,] drinks, meals, food and everything to this resident on disposable paper goods. A [licensed practical nurse] has been assigned to take temperatures and vital signs twice a day.”
Davis said all of the family members of the approximately 100 residents of the building were called and notified of the positive case in the building, as well as all staff and residents were told by the director of the building about the importance of complying with the quarantine.
“We’ve encouraged staff to bring a change of clothing to the facility,” she said. “All of the smokers and residents who have been non-compliant in the past were notified of the ramifications of a quarantine by the [county department of] Public Health … they will be quarantined at the Montgomery [County] Jail, if they do not comply with the [court order].”
Davis said temperatures will be taken and screenings will continue to be done on all staff and residents as previously required by the state Department of Health.
She said the state Office of Emergency Management on Saturday delivered 200 additional gowns, 150 N95 Masks, six gallons of hand sanitizer, 50 face shields and 10 boxes of gloves to help bolster the Sentinel’s supplies.
Davis said if a significant number of Sentinel personnel test positive and must go into quarantine, then Polaris Healthcare will reassign staff from other facilities to make up the shortfall.
Of the 33 lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in Montgomery County as of Saturday, 10 patients have recovered and finished quarantine, 19 people are on home-based quarantine, 3 people are receiving medical care and 1 person has died. Montgomery County is also monitoring 110 people who have been put on quarantine.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, the state Department of Health’s COVID-19 Tracker map shows approximately 273 Montgomery County residents have been tested for COVID-19, with about 10.6 percent of the tests coming back positive for the illness. The map is available to the public at covid19tracker.health.nyu.gov, but the data is sometimes less recent than reporting from local county public health departments.
Statewide, as of Saturday, NYSDOH reports 461,601 people have been tested for COVID-19, with 188,694 positive cases — 8,236 new cases as of Saturday.