Simino

Simino

MEREDITH — An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Golden View Health Care Center now involves half of the residents as well as more than a quarter of the staff and six people have died, nursing home administrator Rosemary Simino said Wednesday.

“Our thoughts are with the families who lost loved ones and our residents battling the virus,” she said. “We are looking forward to receiving the vaccine next week.

“We have received overwhelming support from family members of the Golden View community.”

A total of 56 residents and 52 staff members have tested positive for the virus, she said. Seven residents have recovered. The home is licensed for 105 residents and has a staff of 182.

“The virus is very contagious,” Simino said. “Individuals who don’t have any symptoms or are presymptomatic can and do spread virus unknowingly despite mitigation measures, personal protection equipment and daily screening.

“Due to the nature of personal care at bedside, social distancing can’t always be maintained.”

Vaccinations are planned at the facility on Jan. 6.

About half of the positive staff tests are among those in nursing and direct-care positions.

The outbreak has led to some open positions as staff members wait out quarantine periods.

Under New Hampshire’s state of emergency, people can take an 8-hour course to qualify as a “health partner” to provide services similar to those of a nursing assistant.

Simino, who has taken such a course herself, said people with this training have helped the facility fill some of the vacancies.

“We’ve also reached out to the state of New Hampshire for support and they’ve been able to get us some help as well,” she said.

“Our staff is pulling together as a team. We have a lot of support from all departments. 2020 is the year of the nurse, and they are certainly hanging in there.”

She encouraged everybody to use all precautions to cut down on spread of the virus in the community at large, including social distancing, use of face masks and good hand hygiene.

This is one of several outbreaks underway in long-term care facilities in the state.

The most substantial outbreak in the region and one of the biggest in the state since the pandemic began is at the New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton, where 36 residents have died of COVID-19 over the last month.

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