The Willow Point Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility, operated by Broome County, is offering a little more information following word that a contract medical worker and a resident have tested positive for the coronavirus.

TOWNSQUARE MEDIA BINGHAMTON

Nursing home administrator Ryan LaClair said he was not able to comment on many specifics given patient privacy laws but says the Vestal Road facility is moving forward with testing residents and staff at the 300-bed facility and the affected resident has been moved into a special room and isolated to prevent the spread of the contagious virus.

Family members will be notified by the home should any of their loved ones become infected.  Families can also call 763-4400 and ask for the family hotline to receive more information about their loved one.  That number is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Willow Point is also facing the state-mandated challenge of drastically increasing the amount of testing at the local nursing home.

As calls grow nationwide for mandatory coronavirus testing in nursing homes, New York facilities are sounding alarms about the state’s ambitious new demand to test roughly 185,000 workers twice a week.

LaClair says, just at Willow Point, it means about 800 tests a week.  LaClair says staff is going to the state-operated drive-in testing facility at Binghamton University but the privately run nursing homes in the county, Like Hilltop, operated by United Methodist Homes, Fairview and Susquehanna Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility are scrambling to work with the local hospitals and possibly contract with outside labs in order to comply.

Nursing home officials around the state say they worry there won’t be enough test kits. The homes also have questioned who will cover an expense estimated around $150-dollars per test.

State officials have suggested the homes, as is being done at Willow Point, could send workers to free state testing sites.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the testing requirement may be “a pain in the neck,” but it’s necessary as nursing homes and adult care facilities continue to be a hot spot for coronavirus infections.