‘Positive’ Residents Died From
Others Ailments, Council Told
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Two Cooperstown Center residents died at Bassett Hospital over the weekend after testing “positive” for COVID-19 while at the nursing home, according to an email sent today by Center’s Director of Nursing Lacey Rinker to the facility’s Family Council.
However, Rinker said in the email, the residents died of ailments unrelated to COVID.
The email was sent at 3:14 p.m. today from Rinker to Ann Goodman, Family Council chairman, who asked in an email at 2:35 p.m. about “rumors” that three Cooperstown Center residents have died of the disease. “Please tell me that is not true??” asked Goodman, adding, “I want to stop any untrue rumors immediately, and assume that information would have been in your last email if it were true.”
The Family Council, which includes 60 community members, is required in institutions that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding. Cooperstown Center is owned by Centers Health Care, headquartered in White Plains.
In reply to Goodman’s query, Rinker confirmed that residents had tested positive at Cooperstown Center, but had passed away at Bassett Hospital, not the nursing home, as per the following circumstances:
• The first victim tested positive on Dec. 7, was asymptomatic, and was sent to Bassett on Dec. 14 with bleeding associated with a hernia, not COVID. The patient developed pneumonia and died at Bassett over the weekend.
• The second resident tested positive on Dec. 21, but was sent to the hospital over the weekend, not because of COVID but because of sepsis resulting from a “severe abdominal hernia.” It caused the death, not COVID, Rinker said.
“I have reviewed both cases with the Department of Health,” she advised Goodman.
There are currently four “positive” residents at Cooperstown Center, and they are “without symptoms, and today is Day 14 for them; they were re-swabbed this morning,” Rinker’s email reports.
It continued, “We currently have two staff members out of work still on quarantine: A dietary staff member who tested positive Dec. 16, and our most recent staff member from the rehab department, who tested positive on Dec. 23.”
Centers Health Care’s spokesman, Jeff Jacomowitz, issued this statement a few minutes ago that supports Rinker’s narrative:
“As Cooperstown Center continues to following the guidelines put forth by the New York State Department of Health and the CDC regarding facility-wide screening and testing of staff and residents, sadly one female resident who had been hospitalized, passed away due to complications from COVID-19.
“Another resident, a male who tested positive for Covid-19, passed away due to sepsis.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of these two residents, our hearts and love go to their families,” he said.