Shed more light on it

Public health officials in Jefferson County said they would no longer issue infection exposure warnings to residents.

OGDENSBURG — United Helpers reports a total of 41 positive coronavirus cases this week among staff and residents at the Ogdensburg Rehabilitation and Senior Care facility, formerly called RiverLedge Nursing Home.

Stephen E. Knight, United Helpers chief executive officer, said he was initially notified of several cases Sunday, and by Tuesday afternoon, positive test results had been returned for 13 staff and 28 residents, all at the city location.

Mr. Knight said no major symptoms have been noted among the positive individuals this week, and quarantines have been implemented.

“But we’re worried about everybody,” he said. “With COVID, there’s always worry.”

With roughly 300 employees, Mr. Knight estimated, the Ogdensburg facility is home to about 165 people.

Staff members, who provide 24/7 care across three shifts, generally work in the same facility and even the same unit, but “it’s not always possible” to minimize movement and maintain necessary staffing levels.

The Ogdensburg facility, 8101 Route 68, last reported COVID-19 cases in April when three residents and one staff member tested positive, Mr. Knight said.

A handful of other cases — the individuals have since recovered — have been reported at the Lisbon Individualized Residential Alternative and the Canton Rehabilitation and Senior Care facility over the last seven months.

In a Tuesday announcement posted to the organization’s Facebook page, United Helpers suspended visitation at both the Ogdensburg and Canton nursing homes for at least two weeks.

“This is a very difficult decision, particularly with the holiday season just starting, but it is more important now than ever that we remain vigilant and continue to protect residents, staff and community,” the announcement reads.

Under state-mandated nursing home testing requirements, Mr. Knight said United Helpers staff and residents will continue to be regularly tested.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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