DPH: 33 people at Cape nursing home test positive for COVID-19

YARMOUTH, Mass. — There is an outbreak of COVID in a Cape Cod nursing home where most patients and staff are vaccinated.

“It’s very rare, less than 1% of those vaccinated can develop the infection,” said Dr. Michael Misialek, who is the associate chair of Pathology at Newton Wellesley Hospital.

The facility is called Maplewood at Mayflower Place in West Yarmouth. The first positive test was confirmed on July 10. As of July 19, 33 people have tested positive including 24 residents and 9 staff members. The symptoms are minor if they are present at all.

“It’s usually a very mild form of a disease or even asymptomatic, and that’s exactly what happened here at the nursing home,” Dr. Misialek said.

That’s because Dr. Misialek said the vaccine is doing its job.

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“It’s extremely effective in keeping patients out of the hospital, preventing serious illness and death,” he said.

He added that being vaccinated made all the difference for these residents, unlike the Holyoke Soldier’s Home last year before there was a vaccine.

“This would definitely be a different story had they not been vaccinated or could’ve played out similar to the Soldier’s Home where we saw the tragedy there back at the beginning of the pandemic,” Dr. Misialek said.

And Dr. Misialek believes this is the Delta variant.

“It most likely was the Delta variant that is rapidly becoming the most common form of COVID virus here in the Bay State,” he said.

Dr. Misialek said what happened at Maplewood at Mayflower Place is a good lesson and shows that getting the vaccine saves lives.

“The vaccine is our best defense against the spread of the virus and ending this pandemic,” he said.

DPH also said that all staff who have tested positive remain stable.

“Increasing vaccination rates in [long-term care facility] residents and staff continues to be a high priority and the Commonwealth continues to provide support and encourage uptake within LTC facilities,” DPH said. “As of June 12th, 88% of nursing home residents are fully vaccinated and 73% of staff are fully vaccinated.”

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The department has also provided testing and PPE to the facility after being onsite Tuesday, July 13.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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