Auburn Community Hospital will receive more than $2 million in federal funding to help cover its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently announced that Auburn Hospital will receive $2.2 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for COVID-related expenses. Matthew Chadderdon, a spokesperson for the hospital, confirmed on Monday that the funding will reimburse the medical center for its purchases of COVID drugs, test kits and other supplies.
“As the only hospital in Cayuga County, Auburn Community Hospital has heroically ramped up spending, while suffering a significant loss of revenue, and working tirelessly to help our rural communities ward off this virus for more than two years,” Schumer said.
Gillibrand added that the federal assistance “will help ensure Auburn Community Hospital can maintain staffing levels, provide (personal protective equipment), and continue to keep Cayuga County safe as we meet and fight new variants of COVID-19”.
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Auburn Hospital has treated dozens of COVID patients since the pandemic began in March 2020. Hospitalizations peaked in January 2021 before vaccinations became widely available. There was a further increase in hospitalizations last winter.
Case numbers and hospitalizations are down in Cayuga County, Chadderdon noted that they are still treating COVID patients and there are employees who are out of work due to the virus.
“This money is really needed,” he added.
The funding is the latest aid for the Auburn hospital. Prior to the announcement of the FEMA money, Schumer successfully intervened to secure more than $3.4 million for the hospital. Funding was available through the American Rescue Plan’s Provider Relief Fund.
Political journalist Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.