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Stay up to date with the latest news on the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. We'll post regular updates from NPR and regional news from the WRVO newsroom. You can also find updates on our live blog.

COVID-only facility will take Syracuse nursing home residents from hospitals


Nursing home residents, who have recovered from COVID-19, but are still testing positive for the virus and can’t leave the hospital, will now be able to move to another facility, so they can free up hospital beds.

Loretto nursing homes will temporarily transition the Fahey Rehabilitation building in Syracuse into a COVID-only unit. In a statement, Julie Sheedy, chief marketing officer at Loretto, said their hospital partners and Onondaga County will provide assistance to care for those nursing home residents.

“We have state-of-the-art equipment, strict safety measures and cleaning protocols in place to ensure that everyone, our residents and staff, is protected,” Sheedy said.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon has been waiting to get state approval, so more than 30 nursing home residents could get discharged from the hospital to another facility. That could free up 11-12% of existing beds. In a tweet, McMahon called it a big win.

“This will free up hospital beds immediately,” McMahon said. “Thirty percent of our COVID-related hospitalizations are from senior congregate care facilities.”  

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.