Becky Wydysh, Niagara County Legislature Chairman, addressed the unusually high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Newfane, especially when looking at surrounding communities with similar builds and population densities.
“We talked yesterday that the Town of Newfane with 62 cases is a bit of an outlier,” said Wydysh. She added, “Today the state released data that there were 6 deaths at a nursing facility (in Newfane) due to COVID-19.”
This spike in deaths at the Newfane Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center could be indicative of more active cases at the facility. This would boost the overall rate of infection reported to the state for the town.
Certainty can be hard to come by, as the state maintains absolute oversight with Nursing Facilities in New York, private and public alike. The number of infected and deaths reported go directly to the State Health Department. Right now, only the death toll has been released for the Newfane nursing home. Although all positive numbers are being represented in state reports, the specifics of how many at this particular facility is unknown to Niagara County Officials.
Wydysh declared on what the state is doing, “So, our understanding is that the State Health Department is working within that facility. Of course, the county has been sending them test kits and other supplies.”