Heritage Ministries Official: We’ve Reached COVID Peak In Facilities

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GERRY – Heritage Ministries says it’s reached the peak of a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in two of its facilities locally. 

WNY News Now spoke with Jeremy Rutter, Heritage Ministries Chief Clinical Officer, Wednesday morning. Rutter says that Heritage Green currently has 47 active resident cases and 27 active staff member cases. Meanwhile, Rutter says there are 27 active resident cases and seven active staff cases at Heritage Village.

The Officer says that rapid testing is a critical component to the process of ensuring that residents are kept safe and, if infected, can receive quality care.

“When you start to have some active cases, what you want to do is do a lot of rapid testing, find out everyone that’s positive, all at once, deal with the influx as you can,” Rutter explained. “As you know, we are a large organization. We have extensive resources nationwide. We have a nationwide COVID taskforce that is involved in meeting the needs of our residents and staff in times like this.”

The organization will start to see those cases reach the end of its quarantine period later this week and into the next, according to Rutter.

Rutter furthers that the organization will also continue to be “proactive” in ensuring that it’s ready if another similar uptick arises in the future.

“We don’t expect it but we always prepare for it,” Rutter said. “What we want to make sure we’re doing is being proactive in our cleaning, in our staffing, in our planning. That way, when we do have COVID in the building, we can respond appropriately. We can minimize the impact.

Rutter explains that the local nursing home facilities, despite being competitors, have worked together throughout the pandemic in an effort to combat the virus.

WNY News Now also asked Rutter for an update on the progress of vaccinating residents at their facilities. Rutter says that 86 percent of Heritage Green residents have been vaccinated, while 89 percent have been vaccinated at Heritage Village.

Rutter says that the uptick doesn’t mean that the vaccination isn’t working. He says “the timing was just off” for the organization.

Additionally, Rutter says that the organization hasn’t seen any negative responses to the vaccine. The process of receiving the vaccine distribution has been “smooth.

“We didn’t have any resident that wanted to get vaccinated (not get vaccinated),” Rutter said.

Rutter, in conclusion, says that the residents that Heritage Ministries serves “deserves the very best from us.”


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