Steuben County Manager calls for “thorough review” of COVID-19 nursing home deaths

Corning Bureau

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STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) – Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler is calling for a “thorough review” of the COVID-19 nursing home crisis in New York.

“I think a thorough review needs to be done by an independent body whether that’s a formal investigation from a federal agency, state agency,” said Wheeler on 18 News at 5 after the county announced its 40th COVID-19 death, a Hornell nursing home resident.

Wheeler was previously against any investigations into nursing homes.

New York State Senators and former New York Governor George Pataki have called for investigations into how Governor Cuomo’s administration has handled the issue inside nursing homes.

“There’s people higher up the chain than I who need to make that decision, but someone needs to take a real broad look at exactly what happened and how it happened,” said Wheeler, who also sits on the regional control board for reopening the Southern Tier.

At least 30 people have died in three Steuben County nursing homes: Hornell Gardens, Elderwood at Hornell, and the Taylor Nursing Facility.

On Thursday evening Elderwood at Hornell reported their latest COVID-19 numbers.

Elderwood at Hornell has had 16 residents diagnosed with COVID-19, there are currently 4 residents with COVID-19 being cared for at the facility. Sadly, we have lost 5 residents to the pandemic. We have also been blessed to have helped 7 residents recover from the virus.

Elderwooda t Hornell

There remains to be a large discrepancy in the number of nursing home deaths being reported by New York State with only nine currently listed on the county’s nursing home death records.

Nursing home staff are now required to be tested for the virus twice a week.

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