LACONIA — Five people have died in a COVID-19 outbreak at the St. Francis Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, administrator Brenda Buttrick said in an email Thursday.

“We are grieving over these losses as these precious residents have become our family and our hearts go out to the families for their loss,” she said.

A total of 34 residents and 17 staff members have tested positive for the virus and four residents have been hospitalized. Vaccinations were given at the facility on Wednesday.

“We have been in contact with Catholic Charities New Hampshire as well as New Hampshire Public Health Department for guidance,” Buttrick said. “All employees are wearing full PPE, meaning gown, N95 mask, face shield or goggles and gloves.”

Group activities have been postponed. Residents are remaining in their rooms.

Buttrick said a doctor has been working on the care of residents including prescribing oxygen, steroids to decrease inflammation and other medications such as Mucinex to help with symptoms.

Meanwhile, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday there were 515 new positive test results for COVID-19 statewide, including 19 in Belknap County, and 11 deaths, three in the county. To date, there have been 827 deaths attributed to the virus statewide, 58 in the county.

Of those who died, 78 percent have been in long-term care. Also, 66 percent are 80 years old or older and nearly 30 percent are 70 to 79 years old.

There are currently 314 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state and nearly 50,000 cases have been identified in New Hampshire since the start of the pandemic.

Some other long-term care facilities in the Lakes Region have also been hard hit with COVID-19 outbreaks.

Ten have died at the Golden View Health Care Center in Meredith and 36 have died at the New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton.

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