A COVID-19 outbreak at an Atria senior living facility in...

A COVID-19 outbreak at an Atria senior living facility in Lynrook sickened 15 residents, officials said. Credit: Bloomberg/Kiyoshi Ota

A COVID-19 outbreak at an Atria senior living facility in Lynbrook sickened 15 residents, including two who were hospitalized, facility officials said.

The cases, however, appear to be isolated. The state Health Department said they are not seeing any “significant” uptick in COVID-19 cases at nursing homes or assisted living facilities statewide or across Long Island.

The outbreak at the assisted living facility on Peninsula Boulevard began late last week, an Atria spokesperson said. For five days — last Friday to Wednesday — Atria escalated its infection control protocols, limiting the number of guests allowed on the property, mandating masks, avoiding groups and altering its programing and dining to prevent further spread, officials said.

The facility has since returned to normal operations and nearly all the residents who tested positive have since recovered, according to Atria. One resident remains hospitalized.

“We will continue to support the affected individuals so they can return to good health as quickly as possible,” Atria said in a statement. “Our infection control protocols are thorough and designed to be implemented quickly, including regular screening and monitoring … above all, the health and well-being of our residents and staff is the highest priority.”

In a statement, the state Health Department said it is aware of the outbreak, but COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and assisted living facilities statewide have remained low.

“The Department of Health is consistently monitoring reports of new cases of COVID-19, including any potential outbreaks at regulated facilities in New York,” the statement said. “We are aware that this facility is monitoring a small outbreak of COVID-19, and our daily reports indicate no significant increase in cases at regulated facilities. While the federal government has declared the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand the virus is still circulating and urge all New Yorkers to take precautions.”

The health department said it holds biweekly calls with nursing home advocates, stressing the need to remain vigilant with infection control practices and vaccination efforts. The department, officials said, recently completed a program where nursing homes across the state were offered a variety of medical supplies for free to reduce COVID-19 transmission. 

Richard Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, a Manhattan-based nonprofit that advocates for the elderly and disabled in long-term care settings, said outbreaks in nursing homes gained much attention during the pandemic. But assisted living facilities, he said, have much of the same risk without the round-the-clock nursing care.

“Every relevant factor indicates that assisted living residents are more vulnerable than nursing home residents to COVID infection,” Mollot said. “Assisted living residents are older. Assisted living residences rarely have nurses around and overall staffing requirements are a fraction of those for nursing homes. Unlike nursing homes, reporting of resident information is minimal in assisted living residences. Infection control and prevention requirements are much lower.”

While COVID cases on Long Island remain relatively low, they have seen a slight uptick recently. 

For example, 246 people tested positive Monday in both Nassau and Suffolk counties, the highest number since 260 cases on Long Island on March 4, according to state Department of Health data.

Nassau is reporting 7.8 positive cases per 100,000 residents on a seven-day average, the highest rate of any county or borough in the state, data shows.

A COVID-19 outbreak at an Atria senior living facility in Lynbrook sickened 15 residents, including two who were hospitalized, facility officials said.

The cases, however, appear to be isolated. The state Health Department said they are not seeing any “significant” uptick in COVID-19 cases at nursing homes or assisted living facilities statewide or across Long Island.

The outbreak at the assisted living facility on Peninsula Boulevard began late last week, an Atria spokesperson said. For five days — last Friday to Wednesday — Atria escalated its infection control protocols, limiting the number of guests allowed on the property, mandating masks, avoiding groups and altering its programing and dining to prevent further spread, officials said.

The facility has since returned to normal operations and nearly all the residents who tested positive have since recovered, according to Atria. One resident remains hospitalized.

“We will continue to support the affected individuals so they can return to good health as quickly as possible,” Atria said in a statement. “Our infection control protocols are thorough and designed to be implemented quickly, including regular screening and monitoring … above all, the health and well-being of our residents and staff is the highest priority.”

In a statement, the state Health Department said it is aware of the outbreak, but COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and assisted living facilities statewide have remained low.

“The Department of Health is consistently monitoring reports of new cases of COVID-19, including any potential outbreaks at regulated facilities in New York,” the statement said. “We are aware that this facility is monitoring a small outbreak of COVID-19, and our daily reports indicate no significant increase in cases at regulated facilities. While the federal government has declared the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand the virus is still circulating and urge all New Yorkers to take precautions.”

The health department said it holds biweekly calls with nursing home advocates, stressing the need to remain vigilant with infection control practices and vaccination efforts. The department, officials said, recently completed a program where nursing homes across the state were offered a variety of medical supplies for free to reduce COVID-19 transmission. 

Richard Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, a Manhattan-based nonprofit that advocates for the elderly and disabled in long-term care settings, said outbreaks in nursing homes gained much attention during the pandemic. But assisted living facilities, he said, have much of the same risk without the round-the-clock nursing care.

“Every relevant factor indicates that assisted living residents are more vulnerable than nursing home residents to COVID infection,” Mollot said. “Assisted living residents are older. Assisted living residences rarely have nurses around and overall staffing requirements are a fraction of those for nursing homes. Unlike nursing homes, reporting of resident information is minimal in assisted living residences. Infection control and prevention requirements are much lower.”

While COVID cases on Long Island remain relatively low, they have seen a slight uptick recently. 

For example, 246 people tested positive Monday in both Nassau and Suffolk counties, the highest number since 260 cases on Long Island on March 4, according to state Department of Health data.

Nassau is reporting 7.8 positive cases per 100,000 residents on a seven-day average, the highest rate of any county or borough in the state, data shows.

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