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COVID-19 Cases Increase At Hornell-Area Nursing Homes, State And Local Officials Respond

Updated: 4/15/20 - 3:25 P.M.

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — New York state and local officials are mounting a coordinated response to an outbreak of COVID-19 at Hornell Gardens nursing home, that's according to Steuben County officials.

“Globally, nursing homes have proven to be a hotbed for the spread of COVID-19, and Steuben County is no exception,” Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler said in a statement.

In a press release, county officials said facility-wide testing for the coronavirus was done last week, and now the New York Department of Health approved a plan by Hurlbut Care Communities, the company that owns the nursing home.

“We are working with our team at Seneca Nursing & Rehabilitation in Waterloo, NY to transfer our residents who have tested negative for COVID-19 to a wing in their facility in order to ensure we stop the spread of COVID-19 within Hornell Gardens,” Robert W. Hurlbut, President of Hurlbut Care Communities, said in a statement.

Some nurses at Hornell Gardens told WSKG that Hurlburt Care was unprepared for the COVID-19 outbreak. They said the facility lacked the proper equipment for the nurses to do their jobs and refused to work.

Hurlburt maintained that the facility followed CDC and state guidelines. He accused the nurses of deserting their posts.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the county reported 18 people died from COVID-19. Some were at Hornell-area nursing homes.*

*Updated to reflect updated number of deaths linked to COVID-19 in Steuben County