Slate Valley Center, part of the Centers Health Care network, is experiencing a recent rise in cases of COVID-19. Centers Health Care spokesperson Jeffrey Jacomowitz issued the following statement on Friday, Jan. 22:
“Since last March of 2020, Slate Valley Center in Granville has been strictly following the guidelines laid out by the New York State Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with regard to COVID-19 screening, facility-wide testing and personal protective equipment use, supply and maintenance. Nothing has changed regarding the center’s COVID-19 policies and like many other skilled nursing facilities, Slate Valley Center was aware of the predicted second wave of the virus, plus a possible holiday surge. This is what we’re witnessing regarding this highly unpredictable virus and possible additional strains.
“Per guidelines from the state, testing from once to twice a week takes place only when a positive case is detected, and testing twice a week has been in place since the first positive result. Additional testing demonstrates why the numbers have gone up, a major way to contain the virus.
“Slate Valley Center has been using both conventional PCR testing and rapid testing in order to get a hold of the virus. Additionally the facility has had its first round of the Pfizer vaccine. Staff who have consented to receive the vaccine are instructed that mask wearing and social -istancing measures continue to apply to them and everyone.
“To maintain staff numbers, Slate Valley Center has been working with a number of traveling resource nurse managers who are available to plug the holes in staffing in designated buildings due to COVID-19.
“Slate Valley Center, a stand-out facility that has done well during the COVID-19 pandemic, has now experienced 53 positive cases within the residents’ population, and 12 staff members also have tested positive. While these staff members are quarantining at home, residents of the center who have tested positive are in a dedicated wing of the facility for COVID-19-only positive residents so that the virus can be controlled. This particular wing has dedicated clinical and non-clinical staff with no crossover into other parts of the building.
“Slate Valley Center has been in direct contact and communication with the New York State Department of Health regarding the progress of the virus.
“Sadly, there have been two deaths resulting from this outbreak.
“The facility also is following the guidelines of the FDA regarding the Pfizer vaccine. Walgreens pharmacists began providing vaccinations at Slate Valley Center on Wednesday, Jan. 13 and will be returning to administer the second dose on Wednesday, Feb. 3.
“Nearly 38% of the staff consented to receiving the vaccine, a percentage that is 18% to 23% higher than that national average of staff who are employed at skilled nursing facilities. Additionally, a very strong showing of more than 86% of the residents were vaccinated. No major adverse reactions came from the vaccine, and the facility expects for staff to receive the second vaccine on Feb. 3.
“Our front-line health workers have been working incredibly hard to help treat these folks who have been tested positive plus those who are negative to keep them negative from the virus. Slate Valley Center has been in contact and working with the families in these very trying times so the work of our health workers should be honored, not shamed.
“The staff at Slate Valley Center are deeply distraught and are mourning the two deaths that have occurred. They have sent their condolences to the residents’ families and friends. Both of them became part of the Slate Valley Center family, and they will never be forgotten.”