From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic long-term care facilities have really had their hands full keeping their residents safe - following state guidelines all the while, but as we have all come to know with COVID-19 and how easily it spreads, one instance of a positive case can turn into quite a few cases with casualties along the way. That's exactly what happened at Fox Nursing Home, located just behind A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

According to A.O. Fox Hospital’s spokesperson Gabrielle Argo, for 10 months after the pandemic began, Fox Nursing Home remained COVID-19 free but suddenly last month, on January 14, the first COVID cases among residents were confirmed with the first virus-related death a mere two days later.

Argo states, "A.O. Fox Nursing Home has avoided any outbreaks since the beginning of the pandemic until now, but like nursing homes around the state and country, when there is significant community spread and once the virus gets in, it can spread very easily due to how nursing homes are designed, the medical conditions of our residents, and how contagious the virus is. The virus is contagious long before it can be detected, and even though we stringently use the recommended personal protective equipment and follow the recommended infection preventive measures, the virus can take hold. Unfortunately, the nursing home population is compromised due to age and other chronic and complex health conditions, so they are very vulnerable."

After 12 resident deaths related to the virus and dozens of residents and staff members combined, falling ill with COVID-19 since mid-January, Argo says that Fox Nursing Home is "turning a corner and seeing a marked decline in cases now with many employees returned to work." To help fill those staffing gaps during the onset of COVID-19, Fox Nursing Home received support from other Bassett facilities so that quality care could continue for the nursing home residents. Fox Nursing Home Administrator Jeff Emhof, has been reaching out to residents’ family members to keep them informed.

Visitations continue to be suspended at the nursing home until further notice but the good news is that 90% of Fox residents have now been vaccinated for COVID-19 and Argo says, "the hope is that all doses will be completed by the end of this month".

To find out more about what Fox Nursing Home is doing to keep their residents safe during the coronavirus crisis and for more information about visitation policies visit www.bassett.org/locations/ao-fox-nursing-home.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.