COVID-19 outbreak reported at Barnwell nursing facility
Natasha Vaughn is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Columbia County Department of Health announced May 14, an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Barnwell facility in Valatie. Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said as of Mon., May 17, 11 residents and eight staff members had tested positive for the virus. “It looks like from the dates of onset it was brought in by a resident, not staff,” Mabb said. Barnwell recently created a special unit for new residents. “New residents go to that unit, it’s kind of like a quarantine unit — almost,” Mabb said. “The whole outbreak, if you will, is contained to that unit. It’s not breaking out into the rest of the facility.” Mabb was unsure of when exactly the new unit opened and personnel at the Grand at Barnwell directed questions to their corporate office. In May 2020, the health department reported the Grand at Barnwell had the largest COVID outbreak in the region with 121 of the facility’s residents testing positive. The department criticized Barnwell for its handling of the outbreak, citing issues with how the facility was reporting COVID-related deaths. It also came under fire after it became known that the it had transferred 37 residents to other facilities last year and in some cases it failed to tell family members they had done so. Mabb said he did not have the exact number, but said most of the Barnwell residents and staff have been vaccinated. He also said that during this outbreak no COVID-related deaths have occurred. According to the Department of Health, there are currently 63 active positive cases in Columbia County, 113 county residents are in mandatory quarantine, and five county residents are hospitalized because of the virus. Meanwhile, across the Hudson River the Greene County Public Health Department reported on May 17 two more deaths from COVID-19. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.