DPH: 26 people dead from COVID-19 at Littleton assisted living facility

LITTLETON, Mass. — 26 people have died from COVID-19 complications at the Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley, according to newly released data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

That update came hours after the Attorney General Maura Healey announced an investigation into the Littleton based assisted living facility.

“We owe it to the families who lost loved ones under these tragic circumstances to determine what went wrong,” Healey said in a statement.

At least 95 people have tested positive at the facility since the pandemic began, according to the Life Care Centers of America website.

“We are cooperating with the Attorney General, and we believe that documentation provided to the Attorney General will show how our team appropriately responded to a national crisis no one was prepared for,” Zo Long, Life Care’s Division Vice President, wrote in a statement. “The residents at Nashoba Valley were entrusted to Life Care and have received quality care each day since the pandemic began, and they will continue to be our focus moving forward."

Vicky Fetters said the staff at Life Care Center avoided her questions and didn’t communicate well with family members.

“It’s all about transparency. They avoided my phone calls. They lied to me,” Fetters said.

Fetters said her mother, Elizabeth Carten, is one of the lucky ones. The 79-year-old old, a resident at the facility since last May, began having trouble breathing at the end of March.

She tested positive for COVID-19 and was on a ventilator for 17 days. Elizabeth eventually recovered and was released from the hospital at the end of April.

“I think they should have been transparent. I think they should have been testing people immediately, the staff especially,” Fetters said.

Rep. Lori Trahan released a statement blasting the company’s response to the outbreak.

“Life Care Centers of America knew how contagious and lethal this virus was when the first outbreak hit their Kirkland, Washington facility back in February. Nevertheless, over two months later, more than 20 resident and health care workers at Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley have died and dozens have tested positive,” Trahan said in the statement.

“Worse yet, each of their 12 facilities in Massachusetts has reported more than 30 COVID-19 positive cases and half are presently not in adherence with the Department of Public Health’s latest Clinical Audit,” the statement said.

Life Care Centers of America said 64 residents remain in the facility.

51 of those residents are considered recovered from COVID-19, per CDC guidelines, the company said.

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