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Corrected: Employee at Kingsway nursing home in Schenectady tests positive, home says

Corrected: Employee at Kingsway nursing home in Schenectady tests positive, home says

Corrected: Employee at Kingsway nursing home in Schenectady tests positive, home says
The main entrance to the Kingsway Arms Nursing Home on Kings Road in Schenectady is shown.
Photographer: Marc Schultz / Staff Photographer

Correction 12:12 p.m. 3/31: Only an employee at Kingsway turned away March 16 has tested positive for coronavirus; An earlier version of this story indicated a resident had also tested positive. A Kingsway spokeswoman Tuesday clarified the resident had tested negative and no residents have tested positive.

Update: 9:14 p.m. 3/31: Kingsway confirmed Tuesday evening that one resident tested positive for COVID-19 and passed away Sunday morning. Another tested positive Tuesday and is hospitalized. Our full Tuesday evening update: Kingsway in Schenectady confirms COVID-19 death, hospitalization

 

SCHENECTADY — An employee at a Schenectady nursing home has tested positive for coronavirus, while a resident was tested in an emergency room visit, but tested negative, a Kingsway spokeswoman clarified Tuesday.

The staff member at Kingsway Community was intercepted when they arrived for work on March 16 after state-issued screening protocols determined they presented COVID-19 symptoms.

The employee was prohibited entry and later tested positive for the virus, Kingsway confirmed on Monday.

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“We have a robust screening process at the door,” said Sharon Sleicher, marketing and public relations director for Kingsway said Monday. “When we screened them, they were turned away because they did have a symptom.” 

The worker, who has not been identified, remains self-quarantined at home as per CDC guidelines, Sleicher said on Monday.

One resident went to the hospital and was tested, but tested negative, Sleicher said Tuesday.

"No resident tested positive for COVID-19 at Kingsway Arms Nursing Center," Sleicher said on Tuesday. "The resident visited the emergency room and was tested. Their symptoms were not serious at the time, and they returned to Kingsway. That being said, we took precautionary measures including isolation to ensure that if they did test positive, the spread was mitigated. Several days later, we found out that the resident tested negative."

Tuesday evening Update: Kingsway in Schenectady Tuesday evening confirms COVID-19 death, hospitalization

The Gazette earlier reported that the resident had tested positive for COVID-19. Sleicher clarified Tuesday that the resident did not test positive. 

All people, regardless of age, can be infected with the virus. But seniors and those with compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable.

Nursing homes statewide have been restricted to the general public since March 12 under a state directive.

The virus has killed 1,218 people in New York as of Monday night, an increase of 253 over the day before.

Of the fatalities, 179 were nursing home residents, according to data provided by the state Department of Health, accounting for 14.6 percent of COVID-19 deaths statewide (Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday previously estimated the number at a quarter).

Cuomo likened the virus in a nursing home to “fire through dry grass” and said the state was “lucky” the death toll at elder care facilities hasn’t been higher.

Schenectady, Saratoga and Albany counties have reported one death each as of Monday night.

Testing remains scarce, and the number of positive cases does not reflect the number of infections spreading throughout the community, state and local officials have acknowledged.

The statewide total of positive cases is 66,497.

Of those, 1,054 are at nursing homes, with 693 cases in New York City.

Statewide, the majority of elder care facilities have not reported cases: Out of 613 licensed facilities, cases were reported in 155 of them, or 25 percent.

The state Department of Health issued an advisory last week stating nursing home residents and health care workers who display symptoms of respiratory illness should be presumed to have the virus, the New York City-based news organization The City reported on Sunday.

As such, testing “is no longer necessary,” according to the state guidelines. But state protocols call for residents presumed to have COVID-19 to be isolated.

Staff are required to wear masks within six feet of all residents regardless if they're suspected of exposure.

Schenectady County had 80 confirmed cases by Monday, according to state data, up four from the previous day. County officials said each patient is monitored daily.

Tuesday evening Update: Kingsway in Schenectady Tuesday evening confirms COVID-19 death, hospitalization

“All positive COVID-19 cases from our county are reported to Schenectady County Public Health Services, investigated by our public health nurses and then followed up with daily by our public health nurses for the entirety of their isolation time,” said Erin Roberts, a county spokesperson, in a prepared statement.

People who came into direct contact with a positive case will be contacted and quarantined for 14 days from the date of testing, Roberts said.

Those under quarantine are checked in on daily by county public health staff and can come off quarantine if they remain asymptomatic.

The county has set up a public hotline for medical-related questions at 518-386-2824, option 4. After-hours, people can call 518-437-7878.

“Schenectady County Public Health Services consistently keeps open lines of communication with any organization that is affected in order to provide additional guidance and assist in seeking out additional supports and resources they may need,” Roberts said.

County officials reiterated people should follow state directives and stay home unless for an urgent need; to call their health care provider if they feel ill and practice social distancing to slow the spread and save lives.

For updated information, visit schenectadycounty.com/publichealth and their social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Correction 12:12 p.m. 3/31: Only an employee at Kingsway turned away March 16 has tested positive for coronavirus; An earlier version of this story indicated a resident had also tested positive. A Kingsway spokeswoman Tuesday clarified the resident had tested negative and no residents have tested positive.

Update: 9:14 p.m. 3/31: Kingsway confirmed Tuesday evening that one resident tested positive for COVID-19 and passed away Sunday morning. Another tested positive Tuesday and is hospitalized. Our full Tuesday evening update: Kingsway in Schenectady confirms COVID-19 death, hospitalization

 

 

GAZETTE COVID-19 COVERAGE

The Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.
Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.
Thank You

  

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