The Grand now has no COVID-19 patients, spokesman says

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff
Happier times: Residents of The Grand in Guilderland Center practiced in 2017 for the Senior Olympics at the rehabilitation and nursing center. Sixty residents, coming from facilities across the state, participated in the event. Now, restrictions across New York keep nursing-home residents away from visitors and from each other.

GUILDERLAND CENTER — The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Guilderland does not currently have any patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 nor is it accepting overflow patients from local hospitals, according to Jay Lawrence, director of business development for the corporation, which has 17 facilities across New York State.

The Grand located in the hamlet of Guilderland Center, at 428 Route 146, has 127 beds, Lawrence said, and is “largely filled to capacity.”

However, as New York State has become the epicenter of the coronavirus disease 2019 in the United States, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has required hospitals across the state to develop “surge plans” to increase their capacity by at least half, Lawrence said, “Depending on how things evolve and if it is needed, we can be available, if all the planets align.”

He said he was speaking broadly, of all The Grand facilities, not specifically about the one in Guilderland Center.

As of Tuesday, leaders of Capital Region hospitals said they were having no difficulty handling COVID-19 patients as they presented their plans for increasing both floor hospital beds and intensive-care unit beds.

Lawrence said he could not comment on whether the Guilderland Center nursing home would be accepting overflow patients from hospitals in the future. He noted that the situation with the spreading virus is “very fluid,” and repeated several times that The Grand is following all state directives and all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Again, speaking broadly, Lawrence said, “We have appropriate procedures and policies in place … If there is a need for folks to come into our facility, they are brought into a step-down, and kept in an isolated location for 14 days.”

Lawrence went on, “We’re following all directives and obviously we’re on board as capacity allows to help the greater good.”

Asked if his staff had the needed personal protective equipment, known as PPE, such as masks, gowns, and gloves, Lawrence said, “In broad terms, PPE is something that is very precious.”

Now is a difficult time for all nursing homes in New York State, he said, with visitors and group activities being banned to prevent the spread of the virus. “We’re all highly sensitive to both residents and their families … Throughout our system, we are trying our best in difficult times to keep folks engaged.”

The Grand, at Guilderland Center and in its other 16 facilities, is using technology to allow residents “virtual visits” over Skype from family members, and to engage them through things like Netflix on iPads, Lawrence said.

“We are extremely aware all of us are in this together,” Lawrence concluded. “We’re taking good care of our residents and seeing that their families get information.”

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