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Corning Center COVID-19 Deaths Not Reported To County

Updated: 9/30/20 - 7:08 P.M.

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — Five COVID-19 related deaths have been reported among residents at a Corning nursing home in the last week.

New York State data from Monday confirmed four of the deaths at Corning Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, announced on the facility’s website the following day.

County officials, however, said they didn’t know about any deaths at the nursing home until Tuesday night. A fifth death was reported by Steuben County public health officials on Wednesday evening.

Steuben officials said Wednesday morning that two of the people who died in the nursing home are Steuben residents and two are Chemung residents. The residence of the fifth person is unclear at this time. According to a statement from the county, two women, aged 82 and 94, and three men, aged 72, 78, and 80 years old died.*

County Manager Jack Wheeler said he only learned of the deaths after the nursing home publicly posted their numbers online.

While nursing homes and adult care facilities are only mandated to report COVID-19 cases and related deaths to state authorities, Wheeler said the county established protocols for them to report to the county directly amid outbreaks earlier this year.

“Certainly no fault that we’re placing on the facility at all,” Wheeler said. “It's just more of a clearing up of those communication lines and the expectation of the county health department in terms of reporting, and we’re all on the same page.”

According to Wheeler, there was a change of administration at Corning Center between the time the county explained their reporting procedures and the recent cluster of cases. He said it's possible the new administrators were not aware of the prior discussions within the county.

Wheeler said representatives of the nursing home and the county cleared up those “communication lines” on Wednesday morning.

WSKG’s call to Corning Center has not been returned.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 54 active cases among nursing home residents and 26 among staff.

According to Wheeler, the county is supplying the nursing home with additional personal protective equipment. It is still unclear at this time how the virus first entered the facility.

*Updated to include new information on the number of deaths linked to the nursing home.