More nursing homes report cases, deaths linked to COVID-19

BOSTON — Concern continues to grow in the state as more nursing homes and veteran’s facilities report more deaths and confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Eight residents at a Massachusetts nursing home in Norwood who tested positive for the coronavirus have died, and at least three of those are attributed to complications from COVID-19, a facility official said Friday.

Twelve residents have tested positive for the virus at the Charlwell House Health & Rehabilitation Center, said Vice President of Operations Chris Roberts. Some of the eight deaths were blamed on other health problems, he said.

“We have created units for individuals who have tested positive, units for people who have tested negative so that we can ensure that people are appropriately isolated,” Secretary of Health and Human Services MaryLou Sudders said Friday.

The National Guard responded Friday to another nursing home in Littleton to test residents for the virus that causes COVID-19, town officials said in a statement.

They wrote in a release Wednesday that the Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley failed to comply with “lawful and appropriate” instructions of the town’s Board of Health after a staff member and a patient tested positive.

Nine residents and eight workers have tested positive at the center, and one resident has died, Life Care Centers of America wrote in a press release.

The staff are trained in properly using personal protective equipment “and are following all relevant guidelines in infection control,” the statement said. ”They are putting in heroic efforts to ensure that our patients are receiving the best care.”

At a Holyoke veteran’s home, 25 residents have died (18 positive tests, 3 pending, 3 negative, 1 unknown). So far, 59 veterans at Holyoke Soldier’s Home have tested positive for coronavirus while 159 have tested negative. The status of the six other tests is unknown at this time.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse said Tuesday that the administrator mismanaged the outbreak.

Mayor Alex Morse said the first deaths occurred last Wednesday, but officials at the home failed to disclose the deaths until Sunday. Morse said he’d called Bennett Walsh, the facility’s then-superintendent, directly after receiving an anonymous complaint. Walsh has since been removed from that role.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, pneumonia or death.

At the Jewish Healthcare Center in Worcester, three residents have died from the virus after 17 residents tested positive, including the deceased. In total, 19 residents were tested for the deadly virus, but one test came back negative and another is still pending.

Several staff members at the nursing home have been tested and are awaiting results.

In Chelsea, three residents of another veteran’s care center died after contracting COVID-19.

The Jack Satter House in Revere went from having two cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday to seven confirmed Thursday.

The number of people in Massachusetts who have died from COVID-19 rose to 192 Friday, according to state health officials. over 10,000 residents have tested positive, and more than 800 have been hospitalized since the outbreak’s start.

So far, 26 nursing home residents in the state have died after contracting coronavirus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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