Forty-nine residents who tested positive for the coronavirus in a Belmont nursing home have died. Another 67 residents and 73 staff also have the virus.
The Belmont Manor nursing home is licensed for 135 beds, and according to a spokeswoman, the facility was near capacity when the pandemic began. This means that in a matter of weeks, more than a one-third of all residents have died, and all but a dozen or so have the virus.
"The loss this represents is nothing short of devastating. Our collective hearts are broken for the families of these residents, each of whom was the center of someone’s world," nursing home administrator Stewart Karger said in an email. "Rest assured that our staff did their very best to provide them both care and comfort."
One of the reasons nursing home staff believe the virus spread so quickly is that a fair number of residents who ended up having the virus showed no symptoms. According to Krager, many of those residents still remain asymptomatic.
A spokeswoman says the facility has "cohorted" residents who tested negative in a designated area, and is continuing to monitor residents and staff daily.
According to Krager, the facility is adequately staffed, and many employees who tested positive but were asymptomatic are back at work. It's unclear whether those employees were retested for the virus.
"We are seeing some encouraging signs of recovery among our symptomatic COVID-19 positive residents," Krager said. "However, this is a disease that requires continued vigilance, particularly with older and more vulnerable populations; you have my pledge that we will continue to be focused on returning your residents to health."
This article was originally published on April 24, 2020.