MEREDITH — A total of 36 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Meredith Bay Colony Club, five have been hospitalized and three have died, administrator Jim Murray said Monday.

The virus is thought to have come into the assisted living community through an asymptomatic staff member.

Positive tests have been registered for 24 residents and 12 staff members.

Vaccinations are planned on Jan. 18.

“It’s really sad that we’ve had residents pass away,” Murray said. “We’ve been holding fast on visitation restriction for what feels like a year.

“To know the vaccination is coming and then for this to hit right before Christmas is a real gut punch.”

Testing was done on Dec. 22 and two days later a staff member had a positive test. There are 44 people in assisted living and about 30 staff members in that part of the facility.

“The first individual identified as positive was in shock,” he said. “They had zero symptoms.”

Murray said the last round of testing yielded only two additional positive cases, so he’s cautiously optimistic.

Meanwhile, five people have died in a COVID-19 outbreak at the St. Francis Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Laconia, 10 have died at the Golden View Health Care Center in Meredith and 36 have died at the New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday 711 new positive test results for COVID-19 statewide, including 23 in Belknap County.

A total of 869 deaths have been attributed to the virus in the state since the start of the pandemic.

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