Auburn nursing home fighting against COVID outbreak

Local News

AUBURN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — COVID-19 continues to attack the most vulnerable population of people: Those in nursing homes.

Right now, The Commons on St. Anthony, which is owned by Loretto, is dealing with an outbreak. Over the last two weeks, 12 people have died and 137 residents and 47 staff members have tested positive for the virus. Of that group, 14 residents and 10 staff members have beat COVID-19.

“Without question, things are not getting better in Cayuga County,” said Kathleen Cuddy, Public Health Director of Cayuga County.

The outbreak started at the same time the facility started to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

“When I look at what’s happening with some of our nursing facilities, this really affects the caregivers, too. These are our friends, these are relatives, these are our neighbors,” Cuddy said.

A spokesperson for the facility, which is owned by Loretto, said, “Our team is always deeply affected by any loss of life, and our hearts are with the families of these individuals.”

At this point, the entire building is on what’s called droplet precaution. That means staff needs to dress in full PPE when in contact with any resident, including gowns, face shields, gloves, and masks.

The Commons is testing staff on a weekly basis and residents according to public health law. At this point, they’ve vaccinated around 80% of the residents. And just over half of the staff got their shots on a voluntary basis. They hope to vaccinate more workers next week.

Below is the full statement from Loretto.

“In an abundance of caution the entire building is on droplet precaution which means full PPE with any resident at all times, including gowns, gloves and face shields, and positive residents have been isolated on designated COVID-positive floors. Residents are being tested on a schedule established with the Department of Health. And we continue to test employees weekly. Our team is always deeply affected by any loss of life, and our hearts are with the families of these individuals. While infection control protocols are in place to reduce to the lowest potential for transmission, it’s still a highly contagious virus. Cayuga County and Finger Lakes region have the highest rate of community spread in the State. We are hopeful that the vaccine will help us stop the spread of this virus. We began vaccinating residents and staff at the Commons on St. Anthony on December 22, 2020. To date, 193 residents have been vaccinated or roughly 80%, and 113 staff, which is slightly under 50% with more consenting to get the vaccine during our second clinic on January 12, 2021. We urge everyone to get the vaccine as soon as it is available to them and until then we MUST continue to follow safety guidelines.”

Julie Sheedy, Chief Marketing and Engagement Office, Loretto


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