For the first time since October, the Alice Center nursing home in Malone is officially without any active cases of COVID-19.
The Alice Hyde Medical Center, which oversees the Alice Center, announced on Monday that its skilled nursing facility would open its doors to visitors starting on Feb. 22.
Residents of its assisted living program, which is located in a different part of the same building that houses the skilled nursing facility, were able to receive visitors starting on Feb. 8 — but until recently, the skilled nursing facility still had a positive case there, so that part of the building remained closed to visitors.
“We are thrilled to be resuming in-person visitation next week, and want to thank our residents and their families and loved ones for their support and patience over the last several months,” Susan Biondolillo, Alice Hyde’s associate vice president of long term care, said in a statement. “We will ensure everyone has the opportunity to reconnect face-to-face as quickly as possible.”
The doors of the Alice Center were closed to visitors for several weeks as its staff and residents contended with a coronavirus outbreak.
Representatives of the Alice Center first reported COVID-19 cases were found there on Oct. 30. Two of the facility’s residents, as well as an employee, had tested positive for COVID-19. Prior to these positives, residents were only tested if they experienced symptoms, were being discharged to the hospital or going to the hospital for a procedure, or if a staff member tested positive, Alice Hyde spokesman Phillip Rau said last November.
The two residents who received positive results Oct. 30 were either being discharged or had been experiencing symptoms. More specific information can’t be provided because of federal privacy laws. When the positives were discovered in October, all of the residents were tested.
The Alice Center’s employees have been getting routine testing on a weekly basis for the past few months, per state Department of Health guidelines, according to Rau.
The virus ultimately spread to 28 people. Six residents died after contracting the virus, accounting for half of Franklin County’s 12 total COVID-19-related deaths since March 2020.
As of Feb. 4, the facility still had a positive case of COVID-19, but that last resident has now tested negative and has completed a 14-day quarantine, according to Rau.
Visitations to the nursing home will still be restricted, however. Those who want to visit their loved ones will have to schedule appointments between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m., Monday through Friday. There will be a maximum of six visitors allowed at one time, and visits can only last for 30 minutes.
All visits will be inside and supervised by one of the facility’s employees. Everyone who visits will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within seven days of their scheduled visit. Those who want to schedule an appointment should call 518-481-8000.