BATH, N.Y. (WETM) – Arnot Health has confirmed eight COVID-19 related deaths at the Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital SNF/HRF, located in the Fred and Harriett Taylor Health Center.

Arnot says that they have reported to the Steuben County Public Health throughout the course of this pandemic.  

As with any resident that passes away while in our care, we are saddened by these losses and have extended our condolences to their family and friends.

These deaths underscore the challenges faced by healthcare facilities–and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in particular, who by definition care for our most vulnerable community members– in dealing with COVID-19.  Protecting our patients, residents and staff remains our highest priority, and since early March, we have continued to enhance and refine our protocols for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our SNF facilities, as well as our community.  They include:

Suspending visitation, with the exception of end of life situations, in compliance with the DOH order of March 13.

Screening all staff and others prior to entry by taking their temperature and screening for symptoms and recent travel (adding emerging risk factors, such as travel to the NYC area and symptoms such as GI distress, and body aches to our list of COVID-19 screening questions as they are identified).

Upon confirmation of a COVID-19 positive patient on a unit — per NYS DOH guidelines – all staff, after being screened at the entrance, put on isolation masks and face shields that they wear for the entirety of their shift. 

Taking the staff’s temperature again during their shift. 

Screening all SNF residents, whether there are known COVID-19 positive patients on their unit or not, one time per shift with a temperature, lung, and symptom check. 

Increasing environmental services staff and cleaning of high-touch, high-traffic areas of the facility as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.

Grouping (or “cohorting”) all COVID-19 positive patients in one area of the facility to minimize potential for spread.

Requiring staff caring for those patients wear N95 masks and full personal protective equipment (PPE) per protocols. 

The Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital SNF/HRF also worked with Steuben County Public Health to conduct comprehensive testing of all staff and residents at the facility in mid-April (Steuben County sent an April 21 press release on this initiative).  We remain vigilant in our efforts to work collaboratively to provide the safest care environment for our residents and staff, and have been successful in our efforts to maintain an adequate supply of PPE to protect everyone in the facility.

Arnot Health

Steuben County has confirmed 26 nursing home deaths connected to COVID-19 and 35 total deaths. Multiple deaths have also been confirmed at Hornell Gardens and Elderwood at Hornell.

Elderwood at Hornell tells 18 News that four residents have died from COVID-19 as of April 28.

18 News will have more on this story as information becomes available.