November 10, 2020
To all Seneca View Residents, Families, and Staff:
Since early October we have been contacting families weekly via phone to provide updates on our slowly evolving COVID-19 situation. Today, I am pleased to inform you that the affected nursing unit has not had any new occurrences of the virus for more than 14 days, the unit is free of COVID-19.
Early last week we had contacted all families to inform them that a resident on a different nursing unit had unexpectedly tested positive. We immediately placed the unit on full precautions and performed a follow up test on the resident. The follow up test, and two additional tests, have all come back negative, indicating we have no active COVID cases in our facility at this time. However, per regulations, this unit will remain on full precautions until 14 days have passed to ensure no additional exposures have occurred.
During this October /November outbreak a total of nine residents, and nine staff, contracted the disease. The resident symptoms ranged from mild to more flu-like, with elevated temperatures and respiratory stress. Four of the affected residents were transferred to Cayuga Medical Center for increased monitoring and treatment. Three have already returned safely and the fourth is awaiting a negative test result prior to returning. Sadly, one of our end of life care residents in their very late 90’s came down with COVID-19 prior to passing at Seneca View.
The staff placed on furlough consisted of six direct care and three hospital shared-services support staff. They reported a range of symptoms from cold-like to flu-like issues with a loss of taste and smell. After the required 14 days elapses, and a negative test result, the staff are allowed back to work. All but one have since returned.
Throughout this period of time we have maintained close daily contact with the NYS Department of Health, and the Schuyler County Public Health Department. These agencies have been extraordinarily helpful, supportive, and have provided significant encouragement to our team and the entire organization. We have also received great Medical and Administrative support from Schuyler Hospital and Cayuga Health along the way.
Our Seneca View team has once again proven that they are among the best in long term care. We have consistently seen stories in the news of widespread outbreaks in the community and at other facilities. The key to containing these outbreaks is identifying and isolating them quickly. This is done through the proper training and education of infection prevention measures and the appropriate and consistent use of personal protective equipment. It works. Our weekly staff testing again caught these cases early.
We are likely not out of the woods with this virus yet, but for now we are again COVID-19 Free. More information will follow in the weeks ahead in regard to starting our restricted visitation program.
Please continue to monitor our SCHUYLERHOSPITAL.ORG website, and please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. You can also reach our State Ombudsman, Trish Chevallard, at (607)274-5492, if you need.
My Best Regards,
Patrick Ryan, Administrator