3 of Lewis County’s COVID deaths were nursing home residents

WWNY 3 of Lewis County’s COVID deaths were nursing home residents

LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - The first COVID-19 death in Lewis County was reported just 8 days ago. Since then, 3 more people have died. We’ve learned most of them were nursing home residents.

Loved ones of residents at Lewis County Residential Health Care Facility are scared.

“I never imagined it would happen here,” said Jeffrey Kogut, whose 85 year old mother is a resident at the nursing home. She has tested negative, but Kogut says his biggest fear has come true.

“The numbers started climbing and I kept praying it wouldn’t get in there, but it did,” he said.

Health system CEO Jerry Cayer confirmed to 7 News that 3 of the 4 deaths reported in Lewis County were nursing home residents.

The first death was reported just last week, meaning all four of Lewis County’s reported deaths have happened within 8 days.

As of Tuesday, 18 residents and 12 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. All 18 cases have been contained to the second floor of the facility.

In a statement to 7 News, the New York State Department of Health says it conducted an unannounced inspection of Lewis County Residential Health Care Facility on November 16 and no deficiencies were cited.

The department added, “The facility has sufficient PPE and continues to test residents and staff. The Department of Health will continue to monitor the situation.”

Overall, Kogut says he is pleased with the nursing home’s transparency during what he calls a stressful time.

“They do a very good job at keeping us updated on the deaths, how many people have it, and how they’re doing,” he said.

Lewis County Health System is also bringing that transparency to the public. In a news release sent out Tuesday, the health system said it will be providing daily updates on the status of COVID-19 in both the hospital and nursing home.

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