“This definitely could have been better handled if there was sufficient staffing,” said LaClair, pointing out nursing homes across the nation all struggle with this issue. “We’ve had to move residents around, we had to move staff around, we’re doing everything we can to provide the highest level of care, but when you only got so many hands, it’s more and more difficult.” Within the past few months, New York State reported more than 6,000 people living in nursing home facilities died from COVID-19. Even more residents and staff were infected with the virus. “This is unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” said LaClair. “We are worried. Every person walking through that door is a potential Trojan horse. They could be carrying it and they have no idea.” LaClair says his facility did everything it could with the current resources available to prevent the virus from entering his building. He said it was a culmination of hard work, diligence, and luck that it took longer to infect his residents and staff. However, he says there is not much more his facility can do without the proper funding from the state. Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says he agrees, explaining he’s been trying to increase funding for Willow Point in his yearly budgets. With the pandemic creating economic setbacks, Garnar says the 2021 budget could be more difficult to get funding for nursing homes. For Willow Point Nursing Home in Vestal, it took until mid-May for the facility to be infected. Executive Director, Ryan LaClair, says it’s a frightening experience. The New York State Department of Health responded to these frustrations, writing to 12 News in full: Price says for now, she cannot imagine putting her father back into a nursing home because of the unpredictable time period. She says she will be having an in-home nursing care for him. “New York State has provided 13 million pieces of PPE to nursing homes and connected them with more than 96,000 volunteers. The reality is that the State is contending with a 14% drop in revenue — amounting to $61 billion over four years — and we need federal funding or we will have no choice but to make permanent spending reductions. Any area where we don’t reduce funding will simply mean deeper cuts in another, and we hope that our nursing home partners will join with us in calling on the federal government to act responsibly and deliver the resources states need so they can continue to fund health care, schools, and services for our most vulnerable neighbors.” “In a time where we actually wanted to make more investments for the nursing homes, we have a lot less money to do that,” said Garnar. (WBNG) — Nursing homes were the hardest hit during the pandemic. Now, officials are saying the future of facilities’ funding could determine how they handle the rest of the crisis. For people like Sara Price in Apalachin, she’s struggled with her father, who suffers from dementia, living in the Elderwood Nursing Home facility in Waverly. She says while staff there did what they could to isolate her father, Jack Kelly, she still felt scared, saying, “I felt like he was in a petri dish.” As for the status of nursing homes, Elderwood Nursing and Willow Point officials both say they are working every day with other facilities and county representatives to utilize the current resources to keep everyone safe.