RYE – About 30 people were sickened by norovirus at a senior complex in Rye recently.
The highly contagious virus spread at the Osborn, a nonprofit community for seniors that includes independent and assisted living, rehabilitation and nursing services. It sits on more than 55 acres on Theall Road.
Richard Sgaglio, a spokesman for the Osborn, said today that the outbreak started about a week ago. About 30 people — mostly residents but also some staff — have been ill since then, he said, though no new cases have been reported in the last two days.
Several of those people have gone to a hospital because of dehydration or other medical complications, though none of them appeared to be in serious condition, Sgaglio said. It’s unclear how the virus made it to the Osborn.
The outbreak started in the facility’s assisted-living area before spreading to the independent-living space, Sgaglio said, and some sections of the complex have not been affected. Activities have been canceled and the dining room has been closed to help reduce the spread of the virus, he said.
Catherine Cioffi, a county spokeswoman, said today that the Health Department was helping the Osborn “get this under control.”
People can contract norovirus through direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or water, or touching contaminated surfaces then putting their hands in their mouths, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Common symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain and vomiting. People can help prevent the virus from spreading by washing their hands often, rinsing fruits and vegetables, staying home when they are sick for two days after their symptoms stop, and avoiding preparing food for others when they are sick, according to the CDC.
“We’ve done a lot of things that help kind of reduce the spread of it,” Sgaglio said. “It’s a challenge, especially in the winter months, but we’re doing everything that we can, and as I said, we’re hoping we’re at the tail end of it.”
Norovirus has popped up along the Sound Shore before. In 2018 it forced Mamaroneck Diner and Pizza to close for a few days after a few people there were sick.
In 2015 the Westchester Center for Independent & Assisted Living in Yonkers was hit with an outbreak, and in 2014 more than 100 Rye High School students, parents and teachers were sick after attending a country club dinner in Harrison to celebrate academic achievement.