Five Dead After COVID-19 Outbreak at Colchester Nursing Home

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Five people are dead after a coronavirus outbreak at a Colchester nursing home, officials said Tuesday.

Officials said 53 residents and 12 staff members at Harrington Court have tested positive for COVID-19. Dr. Richard Feifer, the chief medical officer for Genesis HealthCare, which runs the facility, said five residents have died.

Feifer said they have taken steps control the spread of the virus in their facility, including screening residents and patients for symptoms three times daily, screening and taking the temperature for all staff entering the building, requiring all staff to wear PPE, limiting medical appointments to only those necessarily and time-sensitive, and restricting visitors.

"As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began providing protocols and guidelines for the coronavirus, we have diligently followed them and in many cases, have gotten out in front of public health guidelines, adopting even more stringent infection precautions than were recommended at the time. We also continue to follow the direction of the Connecticut Department of Health in an effort to contain and minimize the spread of the virus," Feifer said in a statement.

The state Department of Public Health said that during the investigation into the outbreak officials found infection control issues, and the facility will be cited.

The Chatham Health District, which covers Colchester, East Haddam, East Hampton, Hebron, Marlborough and Portland, has reported a significant uptick in new cases of the coronavirus in the final weeks of September.

State officials are monitoring an upward trend in the coronavirus numbers. On Tuesday, the state's positivity rate came in at 1.5%.

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