In New York, former Catholic nursing home opens as COVID rehab center

CNA Staff, Apr 14, 2020 / 04:06 pm (CNA).- A former Catholic nursing home in New York state is set to open as a rehabilitation center for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients who have been discharged from Catholic hospitals but are not yet ready to return home.

Mark Sullivan, president and CEO of Buffalo-based Catholic Health, said the facility will help to free up hospital beds in western New York ahead of an expected surge in COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks.

“From conception to completion, we were able to renovate and equip this facility to meet our high standards in less than two weeks,” Sullivan said April 13.

The facility is set to open April 14 in Orchard Park, New York, about 15 miles southeast of Buffalo.

Sullivan said Catholic Health— partnering with a nursing home company called the McGuire Group— is responding to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call to prepare for a surge of COVID-19 cases in the area. Catholic Health worked with the New York State Department of Health to develop the plans for the facility.

The former AbsolutCare nursing home, where the center will be located, closed in 2019. The facility will feature 80 beds and will likely serve older, at-risk patients who are COVID-19 positive, the medical director told WKBW.

The entire facility will be divided into color-coded zones to keep appropriate distance between patients, modeled off of a 120-bed acute care facility that the health system opened near Buffalo on March 27. Most patients are expected to spend around 21 days at the center, depending on how well they recover, the medical director told WKBW.

Erie County, where Orchard Park is located, has over 1,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19. New York state as a whole has the most confirmed cases of any state, with nearly 200,000 as of April 14.


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