Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New Transitional COVID-19 Nursing Home Facility Approved By State Health Department

The State Health Department approved a plan for Upstate University Hospital and Loretto to create a local recovery facility for nursing home residents hospitalized by COVID-19. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced the partnership Friday.

All New York nursing home residents must test negative for COVID-19 before returning to their home. McMahon said that can sometimes take days or weeks, even after physical recovery.

“Instead of that resident sitting in a hospital when they’re recovered, they can now go into this transitional facility, a more comfortable facility for them,” said McMahon. “And then spend their time there waiting to get that negative test where they can go back to their own residence.”

Opening this facility will free up a total of 80 hospital beds. Currently 30% of hospitalizations are from congregate senior living facilities.

The county had 401 new cases of the virus on Friday, and McMahon said while numbers are lower compared to last week, they are still elevated. Given that Halloween and Thanksgiving gatherings are the sources for recent surges, McMahon is pleading with the public to celebrate Christmas with only people in your household.

“We’ve seen what thanksgiving left us two, three weeks later. It left us with the deadliest week that our County has probably ever had in its history related to a specific event or incident,” said McMahon

Another surge in COVID-19 cases would not only result in increased hospitalizations and deaths, but it would also affect the number of restrictions on businesses.  McMahon said minimizing gatherings and controlling the spread is necessary to help small business owners survive.

Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, economy, and identity.