SCHENECTADY COUNTY — A female resident of the Glendale Home nursing home in Glenville has died of COVID-19, becoming the first resident of the county-owned facility to succumb to the disease.
County officials reported that the unidentified resident died early Wednesday morning, becoming the 60th county resident confirmed to have died of COVID since March.
The woman was an 87-year-old with serious underlying health issues, and was already on “comfort care” due to other issues when she contracted the virus, said Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman.
While it is the first death at the Glendale Home, nursing homes across the state have seen thousands of deaths — the exact number is in dispute amid allegations that the state handled early nursing home outbreaks poorly — since they have concentrations is people who are elderly and/or having underlying health conditions. Age and underlying conditions significantly increase the risk of serious complications or death.
The death follows an outbreak at the facility that first emerged in November, and then spread. County officials had reported last Friday that there was spread at the facility, with 13 residents and 12 staff members then virus-positive. All sick residents were immediately placed in isolation and staffers quarantined.
Fluman said that when residents are placed in isolation, staff who enter their room wear protective gowns and dispose of them immediately afterward, and the county is currently going through about 1,200 isolation gowns a day.
Fluman said that twice-a-week testing conducted at the facility last Friday found no additional cases. While the county is awaiting the results of testing done on Tuesday, “we are hopeful we have stopped it,” he said.
The positive diagnoses were discovered after an outside dental worker tested positive last week, Fluman said last week.
The recent positive cases have been the first at the facility since the pandemic emerged in March. The Hetcheltown Road facility has 195 residents and 240 employees.
The outbreak at the home came as Glendale anticipates the first doses of vaccine to arrive in the near future. “We will get allocated something, but we don’t know when the delivery date is,” Fluman said.
Given that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday that there will be just 7,850 doses provided to the Capital Region in the first vaccine distribution, Fluman said he doesn’t believe there will be enough doses for all the nursing home’s residents. Residents will be vaccinated first, he said, with staff members second. He said the facility’s medical director will decide which residents get the vaccine first.
Schenectady County reported 93 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, according to state officials. There are 55 people currently hospitalized with COVID, though county officials note that that figure could include residents of other counties who are hospitalized in the county.
Among other counties, Saratoga reported 77 new cases; Albany, 185; Rensselaer, 59; Fulton, 44; Montgomery, 18; and Schoharie, 15. Of the 95 people who died statewide on Tuesday — those most in a day since late May — three were in Rensselaer and one was in Albany County. The death Wednesday at Glendale Home won’t appear in the state report until Thursday.
Staff writer Stan Hudy contribute to this report.