The Greenfields nursing home will allow visitation starting Friday


LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB)–The state may have loosened up certain guidelines but it doesn’t change the single biggest hurdle standing in the way of visits.

While nursing home visitors no longer have to get tested if the county infection rate is under 5%, it doesn’t loosen up the one rule that the nursing home has to have had at least 14 days without one positive COVID case.

We called 24 local nursing homes, and The Greenfields in Lancaster is one of the only ones that can allow visitation on Friday.

“It’s an accomplishment and it’s certainly gonna be more work on our end.”

The Greenfields Skilled Nursing facility is scheduling visitors for Friday. Out of dozens of local nursing homes we called, they are one of the few who will not have had at least one COVID case in the past 14 days.

The CEO says it’ll be the first time in months because it’s hard to avoid just one case out of more than 400 residents and staff members.

“Just the sheer volume of staff and number of patients and residents that’s been very difficult. So I guess the one good thing about us being able to open Friday after we’ve had a few rounds of the vaccine is anecdotally I think I can say that I’ve seen an impact of the vaccine and I think that’s impacting the reasons we can be open,” President and CEO Chris Koenig said.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz reports that county wide, almost all nursing home residents have received both doses of the vaccine but 41% of local nursing home staff members have opted not to get the shot.

“So I’m glad to see that the patients are primarily getting the doses and it seems to be working and deaths are dropping as a result of it. But I am concerned about the staff because of course a staff member is not vaccinated could bring it in and if there is a new resident who hasn’t been vaccinated or another employee there who hasn’t been vaccinated, it could be transferred,” Poloncarz said.

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