Five residents dead in Chelmsford nursing home, many infected in COVID cluster – Lowell Sun


According to state health statistics, five residents have died and several have been infected in a COVID-19 cluster at the Sunny Acre Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Chelmsford.

“Unfortunately, it has proved impossible to keep this fast-spreading and highly contagious virus out of the center,” Sunny Acres administrator Jeff Schwartz wrote in an online update on Wednesday.

According to Schwartz, a routine test conducted last month tested “many residents” for the virus.

Data from the state weekly public health report included five resident deaths and more than 30 infections, including residents and staff.

The Chelmsford Board of Health did not respond to the Herald’s requests for comment, but the Boston 25 News reported 47 residents and 17 employees were infected.

“The center is working closely with the state Department of Public Health, Chelmsford Board of Health and is receiving the support of infection control experts to bring the specialist of this control virus under control at the center,” Schwartz said.

He said that many residents had crossed their 14-day separation period and are “on the road to recovery”.

According to Schwartz’s Wednesday update, there had not been a single COVID-19 case in Sunny Acres in the past 15 weeks prior to the outbreak and the center has conducted approximately 1,600 tests on staff and residents during that period.

Word of the outbreak quickly spread online, with people expressing concern about their loved ones.

A spokesperson for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services said the state is monitoring the outbreak and has deployed a rapid response team on October 9 in Sunny Acres to provide staffing and infection control. That team is still deployed.

The Department of Public Health has conducted two infection control surveys in Sunny Acres, which are being reviewed and finalized for public posting.

Chelmsford is currently in the red zone on the state coronovirus map, with 88 positive tests in the last two weeks and an average daily rate of about 14 cases per 100,000 residents.

Sunny Acres, located at 254 Billerica Road in Chelmsford, has been for 72 years offering rehabilitation, social services, memory care, hospice care and respiratory care, according to its website.

According to state health statistics, the center has 93 licensed beds.

The total coronavirus death toll in Massachusetts, as of Friday, is 9,830, with 6,323 deaths in long-term care facilities.

From Monday, Chelmsford will return to phase one of phase three of the state’s reopening plan, the city announced.

This means that indoor theaters, roller skating rinks, trampoline parks, obstacle courses, laser tags and escape rooms cannot open.

Other businesses should reduce capacity and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 50 people.

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