Since a COVID-19 outbreak was reported in November at a local senior living facility, six additional residents at the home have died, raising the total number of deaths to 13, according to Director of Health Thomas Carbone.
Those at the facility, however, say increased safety measures are working because the spread is stopping.
For more than a month, staff and residents at Atria Marland Place have been battling COVID-19. As of late November, the virus had killed seven residents. Since then, six more residents died from the disease, Carbone said.
The virus also infected 52 other residents and 22 employees, a spokesperson for Atria Senior Living said in an email last week.
Most people have recovered and the facility has seen no new cases in the past two weeks, Carbone said. Weekly testing of all residents, employees and aids at the home — a total of 154 people — is being conducted.
The last time there were two new cases was Thanksgiving week, Carbone said.
Nine residents and three employees still have COVID-19 symptoms, according to a prepared statement.
“Since the pandemic began, our life’s work has been to keep it out of our communities,” wrote Kymberly Codair, regional vice president of Atria Senior Living.
“Every mask, every glove, every COVID-19 test, every minute of quarantine, every meal delivered, every Facetime chat with a family member, and every other infectious disease protocol has been a weapon in the war against COVID,” she added.
During the pandemic, senior facilities like Atria at Marland Place have been hit particularly hard.
Carbone stressed that “senior care facilities house our most vulnerable population, so people really need to be careful if they have the ability to go in.’’
He said visitors provide such protection by wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing their hands. Those habits are good in every aspect of life as the pandemic continues to surge, he said.
Despite the outbreak at Atria at Marland Place being subdued, the town was designated "high-risk" for COVID transmission last week by the state.
"You can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the rollout of the vaccine, but we are really six months away from seeing that end of the tunnel," Carbone said.