CORNING, NY (WETM) – The Corning Center nursing home has reported 25 COVID related deaths, making up roughly a third of the deaths in Steuben County.
A Strike Team from the federal agency, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, has been sent to the nursing home, according to state officials.
The Strike Teams “provide onsite technical assistance and education to nursing homes experiencing outbreaks in an effort to help reduce transmission and the risk of covid-19 spread among residents,” according to the CMS website.
“Members from the NY State Department of Health, Infection Control and the CDC have visited over the past week and members of the federal agency, CMS, are visiting today and they have found ZERO deficiencies at the Corning Center on East First Street in Corning. This means that the facility is doing nothing wrong as they are following the guidelines by the CDC at the Department of Health with keeping residents and staff safe from COVID-19. A “strike team” isn’t a special team as people think it may be, clarifying this, it is just a combination of various agencies giving guidance to the staff and leadership at a facility, this being Corning Center,” said Spokesperson Jeff Jacomowitz of the Corning Center.
Jacomowitz says that the Corning Center is not calling the help from the CMS a Strike Team because of how it sounds.
“Corning Center is not calling this a “strike team” because we feel that term misconstrues what was really going on at the facility…..guidance,” said Jacomowitz.
The New York State Department of Health has also stepped in to help the Nursing Home manage the spread. Jill Montag, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health, said in a statement
The New York State Department of Health continues to actively respond to the situation at Corning Center. We have held daily phone calls with the facility. We have conducted Focus Infection Control Surveys at Corning Center on June 10, September 10, September 23, October 6 and October 12. No deficiencies were identified. Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker has spoken to the administrator, offering assistance with PPE and staffing. The facility declined this offer, stating that they had sufficient PPE and appropriate staffing levels, had tested all residents of the facility and all of the staff, are continuing all testing efforts, and are cohorting Corning Center residents based on COVID-19 test results. . In addition, a DOH epidemiologist visited the facility on September 22 and made general infection control recommendations to the facility, and we have shared information with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for their strike team visit,” Jill Montag, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health, said in a statement.