More than half of the residents at the Elm Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canandaigua tested positive for the novel coronavirus over the last 24 hours, the Ontario County public health department said Thursday.
“It’s like wildfire in a place like that,” said Ontario County public health director Mary Beer. “It's a very, very contagious virus. People need to be aware, whether they're in a nursing home or not.”
Testing of all 38 residents began when three people at the nursing home tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, Elm Manor said.
By Thursday, the results had come back: 24 of the home’s residents -- more than 60% of its population -- had the virus.
The Ontario County health department said two staff members also tested positive, but not all of the employees’ results had been returned yet.
Three of the residents were hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment, Beer said. None had died of the virus.
As the cases are identified, Elm Manor “is doing exactly what the state department of health told them to do,” Beer said. “They’re quarantining all positive cases.”
A statement from an unnamed representative of the home said that it was “working closely with Ontario County Public Health to make sure all residents receive the best care possible and that our staff is safe.”
Elm Manor was cited for deficiencies in its infection control program in February 2018.
“The facility did not properly establish and maintain an infections prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections,” inspectors found.
Those deficiencies were corrected two months later, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The home scored one star, “well below average,” on its most recent staffing assessment from the federal government. Nurses at Elm Manor spent about half as much time with each resident as their counterparts in nursing homes across New York, the report found.
The home rebuffed a reporter’s attempts to speak to an administrator on Thursday. “Due to the need to focus on providing on the best care that we can for the residents, current challenges and circumstances mean we cannot give interviews at this time,” said the representative who answered the phone. The representative hung up when the reporter asked to leave a message.
When the reporter called back, the result was the same.
Elm Manor did not immediately respond to questions submitted through its online form.