BINGHAMTON, NY – Broome County Executive Jason Garnar has declared a state of emergency in order to respond to a severe staffing shortage at the county-owned Willow Point Nursing Home.

Garnar says the loss of nurses and certified nursing assistants, or CNA’s, has reached a crisis point.

As a result, Willow Point is closing a third unit, reducing the number of residents from 216 down to 173.

This comes after having to close 2 other units during the pandemic which Garnar says cost the county 5 million dollars in lost revenue last year.

Garnar says the county could have chosen to maintain a larger number of residents with minimal staffing, but didn’t want to compromise their health and safety.

“The closure of this unit will cost the county millions of dollars and puts the sustainability of the nursing home at serious risk,” says Garnar.

Garnar says Willow Point will stop accepting new admissions on Friday and it could take several weeks to close the unit through attrition.

The county budgets for 71 nurses but currently has only 32.

It has slots for 112 CNA’s but has only 48 right now.

Garnar says the county already raised CNA pay and plans another $3 per hour raise in the new year.