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COVID-19 outbreak at second Auburn nursing home
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PUBLIC HEALTH

COVID-19 outbreak at second Auburn nursing home

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Auburn Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

Another nursing home in Auburn is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak affecting residents and staff. 

Auburn Rehabilitation and Nursing Center posted on its Facebook page last week that 24 residents and 10 employees tested positive for the virus. 

Judson MacCaull, administrator of Auburn Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, wrote in a public letter to families, residents and staff that those infected with the virus were experiencing "slight symptoms, if any at all." 

In an interview with The Citizen on Friday, MacCaull didn't have updated numbers on the positive cases at the facility. But he said that the nursing home is taking action to prevent the spread of the virus. 

"In close cooperation with the New York State Department of Health, Cayuga County Health Department, even the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), we're doing everything that we can to put a clamp on it and to keep everybody safe," he said. 

MacCaull added that employees and residents' families are updated when there are new positive cases. Under an executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year, nursing homes must notify family members of positive cases within 24 hours. 

The outbreak at Auburn Rehabilitation and Nursing Center is the second at a Cayuga County nursing home. The Commons on St. Anthony, also in Auburn, has been responding to an outbreak since early December. 

When Loretto, which operates The Commons, last released updated figures, there were more than 180 residents and staff who tested positive for COVID-19. According to the state Department of Health's COVID-19 tracker, there have been 47 deaths at the facility. 

Based on the number of fatalities, the outbreak at The Commons has been one of the worst involving a New York nursing home. 

At Auburn Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, residents received the COVID-19 vaccine amid the outbreak. MacCaull didn't disclose how many residents were vaccinated, but the first doses were administered in late December. Residents and staff received their second dose either late last week or early this week, he said. 

The vaccine could be one tool that prevents the spread of the virus in the facility. 

"We're doing everything we can to stop it and make sure we let it increase the least it possibly can," MacCaull said of the positive case count. 

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at auburnpub.com.

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