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Coronavirus outbreak at Northumberland County nursing home

Roughly 80 residents have tested positive for the virus.

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — An outbreak of COVID-19 among staff and residents at the Mountain View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center near Shamokin has the administration tightening restrictions, including barring visitors from the facility.

On its website, Mountain View reports that around 80 residents have active cases of the virus.

Among its employees, nearly 20 people currently have the virus.

People in Shamokin says it's heartbreaking for both the residents and the loved ones who can't see them in person.

"They should let them wear masks, whatever they need to visit because that's a lonely time, it's scary, you know?" said Duane Gilbert.

"They can't get into see them and how do the patients feel, they're not being neglected, but their family can't come and a lot of them probably don't understand why,” said Patsy Casner.

"[It] will consist of approximately 16 soldiers and airmen. And they'll include several nurses and medics,” said Lieutenant Colonel Keith Hickox, the Public Affairs Officer for the Pennsylvania National Guard.

Hickox says since April, National Guard members with medical training have helped out at roughly 20 long-term care facilities across the Commonwealth that have COVID outbreaks.

He says beginning this weekend, members will be helping out at Mountain View.

"Some of their staff are out for positive or presumed positive, awaiting results, testing and all that they don't want them back into facility until they're clear,” said Hickox.

People that we spoke with said they're very happy to hear the National Guard will be out here to help.

"That's wonderful. I’m glad that they are. They can always use it, they can use all the help they can get,” said Jeanette Groff.

Newswatch 16 did reach out to Mountain View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for a comment and to find out how the outbreak started.

Our calls were not returned.