County Care Facilities Look To Expand Visitation Following Vaccinations

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GERRY – COVID-19 vaccination efforts at Heritage Ministries in Chautauqua County is now complete. 

That’s according to the company’s Chief Clinical Officer Jeremy Rutter who spoke with WNY News Now on Friday.

Overall, Heritage Nursing Homes in the county have fared well in terms of keeping the virus at bay, something Rutter says goes back to their strict protocols.

“We test all our employees twice a week at minimum, and many are being tested more than that, we test all our new admissions three times in their first 10 days, and we disinfect all surfaces every four hours, and use electrostatic sprayers as well,” said Rutter.

Eighty-five percent of residents have now been vaccinated, and Rutter wants the state to acknowledge this.

“I really hope the Governor and the Department of Health looks at those statistics and rewards those people for that,” he furthered. “They are taking those proactive steps to get themselves vaccinated.”

While visitation at nursing homes in New York State is allowed, it is only permitted outdoors, something Heritage is trying to change.

“Western New York in February isn’t the best time for the elderly to be outside,” he said.  “We are looking for indoor visitation with moderate screening and prevention protocols.”

Rutter says they are advocating for the change but have not had any success with petitioning the state.

In the end, he says Heritage couldn’t have fared as well as they did without the work of their staff.


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