Health

30 residents at Belmont nursing home die from COVID-19, 116 test positive for virus

BELMONT, Mass. — The COVID-19 pandemic continues to infect and kill people at nursing homes and veteran’s homes. Those are the communities being hit the hardest in clusters.

On Thursday, the Belmont Manor administrator sent out a letter to residents stating 30 residents have died after contracting the virus. Out of the 30 people who died, 4 were hospitalized.

The letter goes on to say 116 residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, while two other test results are still pending. So far, 94 of the 190 employees have been tested, where 59 tested positive. The facility has 135 beds. According to the home’s administrator, Stewart Karger says, they are working to get all staff members tested.

Karger points out that, while a number of residents have tested positive, not all of them showed symptoms.

“Our team is redoubling our efforts with our residents – both in terms of their physical health and maintaining their connections to their families,” said Karger. “We are carefully monitoring all residents and are taking action to address any symptoms with our clinical team as quickly as we can.

When it comes to curbing the spread, staff who present symptoms are being sent home on sick leave, until they have been asymptomatic for 24 hours. Any staff members that have tested positive are allowed to work if asymptomatic for 24 hours.

Jeff Kerzner, a neighbor who lives across the street from the home spoke to Boston 25 News about the developments.

“On a normal day when there is a death, we get fire engines coming through, police. There has been nothing like that at all. I’ve been looking for hearts, and morgue units, haven’t seen anything,” said Kerzner.

The home will also be sharing more information through a Zoom call with their medical director, director of nursing and other relevant staff on Friday.

“Every member of the Belmont Manor team is heartbroken by the losses of beloved members of our community. From the beginning of this pandemic, we have taken every possible step to address this fast moving situation. Despite these multi-faceted efforts and our longstanding and recognized focus on quality care, the impacts of the coronavirus have been hard hitting. Our staff continues to remain vigilant and focused on creating meaningful connections between our residents and their families in a time of physical-distancing.”

—  Stewart Karger

During the Governor’s briefing on Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary, Marylou Sudders said, “The national guard has conducted testing at Belmont manner and we are sending in our technical assistance swat team to help figure out what they need to be doing at Belmont manner."

While our crew was there, the facility had a packed parking lot, and it looked like business as usual. There is a sign at the door, not allowing anyone in.

“Heartbreaking to know a lot of the people came infected, and suffering,” said the Kerzner.

Kerzner went onto say the street is normally filled with loved ones always coming to visit.

“I’m always saying hello to the residents there," said Kerzner. “Their family members take them for a walk, wheel them up and down the street.”

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RESOURCES:

- Massachusetts Coronavirus Information

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