Nearly a third of residents have COVID-19 at South Hadley nursing home

Staff Writer
Published: 6/2/2020 6:53:35 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Vero Health & Rehab of South Hadley has risen to 54 as of Tuesday, with 33 residents and 21 staff members testing positive for the disease.

With 107 residents at the facility, that’s just under a third who have tested positive for the illness. Twenty-eight residents who tested positive for the disease are currently residing at the facility, according to Vero spokeswoman Lisa Murray. Fourteen residents have died during the pandemic, according to Murray.

“Vero Health & Rehab of South Hadley, like many others, is taking extensive actions to ensure the safety of residents and employees in response to this pandemic,” Murray said in a statement to the Gazette.

A state report detailed other local long-term care facilities where COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred, including CareOne in Northampton, where as of last week, 18 residents have died, and CareOne in Holyoke, where 21 have died. Eighteen have died at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst; 19 at Day Brook Village Senior Living in Holyoke; 11 at Highview of Northampton; 12 at Mount St. Vincent Nursing Home in Holyoke; and six at Elaine Center in Hadley, according to the Department of Public Health.

Across the state, 21,608 residents or health care workers at long-term care facilities have probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases, the state published on Tuesday. There have been 4,382 probable or confirmed COVID-19 deaths reported at these facilities, and at least 350 facilities have reported a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.

The state also reported last week that 62% of all confirmed COVID-19 deaths were in long-term care facilities. In Hampshire County, the percentage was even higher. Of the 83 deaths at long-term care facilities, 64, or 77% of deaths were in five nursing homes as of last week.

The latest numbers show a rise from the 18 residents and 15 employees who previously had tested positive for the disease.

At all of its facilities in the state, Vero Health Care is implementing mitigation measures such as screening all employees and mandatory vendors for possible infection at the start of each shift, facility-wide testing, deferring admissions, limiting visitation to end-of-life compassionate visits and other social distancing protocols.

At the South Hadley facility, the National Guard was called in last month to assist with testing.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com.


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