COVID-19 outbreak at nursing home kills 5, infects 30

Five people have died from an outbreak of COVID-19 at a nursing home in Massachusetts, according to officials.



A health worker holds up a test tube with a Covid-19 test sample taken from a person at Revere Beach in Revere, Massachusetts, Aug. 11, 2020.


© Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images, FILE
A health worker holds up a test tube with a Covid-19 test sample taken from a person at Revere Beach in Revere, Massachusetts, Aug. 11, 2020.

A total of 30 people were infected at the Sunny Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Chelmsford, according to statistics released weekly by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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The outbreak comes after 15 weeks of no positive cases at the nursing home, Sunny Acres administrator Jeff Schwartz wrote on its website. Many of the residents began testing positive in late September. 

“Unfortunately, it has proved impossible to keep this rapidly spreading and highly contagious virus out of this center,” Schwartz said.



a man in a blue shirt: A health worker test a man for COVID-19 at a pop up testing location on the boardwalk at Revere Beach in Revere, Mass., on Aug. 11, 2020.


© Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images
A health worker test a man for COVID-19 at a pop up testing location on the boardwalk at Revere Beach in Revere, Mass., on Aug. 11, 2020.

Several residents have moved past their 14-day isolation period and are now recovering, Schwartz said. The facility has been receiving support from infection control specialists and has been following state and federal COVID-19 guidance.

Meanwhile, one church in North Carolina has been barred from holding services after a week-long convocation drew more than 1,000 people, leading to three deaths.

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The convocation held by the United House of Prayer for All People led to a COVID-19 cluster tied to 121 cases in three counties, ABC Charlotte affiliate WSOC reported. Those numbers do not include an additional 127 people who were tested in drive-by facilities on Friday.

The Mecklenburg County Health Department issued an “Abatement of Imminent Hazard” on the church due to the cluster.

“We have taken this action out of an abundance of caution to prevent the COVID-19 virus from further spreading in our community,” Mecklenburg County public health director Gibbie Harris said in a statement. “This type of order is rare, but sometimes necessary. It prevents the church from opening or allowing any further gathering, making sure we stop this outbreak from going any further.”

The order was issued after church leaders announced they still planned to hold large events scheduled for Oct. 25 through Oct. 31, according to WSOC. 

All in-person gatherings at United House of Prayer facilities are now canceled until at least Nov. 6, and the church is required to clean and disinfect indoor surfaces. 

The U.S. has now surpassed 225,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

There have been 225,061 deaths from COVID-19, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

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COVID-19 outbreak at Massachusetts nursing home kills 5, infects 30

Three people also died in North Carolina after a church event drew 1,000 people.

Five people have died from an outbreak of COVID-19 at a nursing home in Massachusetts, according to officials.

A total of 30 people were infected at the Sunny Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Chelmsford, according to statistics released weekly by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The outbreak comes after 15 weeks of no positive cases at the nursing home, Sunny Acres administrator Jeff Schwartz wrote on its website. Many of the residents began testing positive in late September.

“Unfortunately, it has proved impossible to keep this rapidly spreading and highly contagious virus out of this center,” Schwartz said.

PHOTO: A health worker test a man for COVID-19 at a pop up testing location on the boardwalk at Revere Beach in Revere, Mass., on Aug. 11, 2020.

A health worker test a man for COVID-19 at a pop up testing location on the boardwalk at Revere Beach in Revere, Mass., on Aug. 11, 2020.

Several residents have moved past their 14-day isolation period and are now recovering, Schwartz said. The facility has been receiving support from infection control specialists and has been following state and federal COVID-19 guidance.

Meanwhile, one church in North Carolina has been barred from holding services after a week-long convocation drew more than 1,000 people, leading to three deaths.

The convocation held by the United House of Prayer for All People led to a COVID-19 cluster tied to 121 cases in three counties, ABC Charlotte affiliate WSOC reported. Those numbers do not include an additional 127 people who were tested in drive-by facilities on Friday.

The Mecklenburg County Health Department issued an “Abatement of Imminent Hazard” on the church due to the cluster.

“We have taken this action out of an abundance of caution to prevent the COVID-19 virus from further spreading in our community,” Mecklenburg County public health director Gibbie Harris said in a statement. “This type of order is rare, but sometimes necessary. It prevents the church from opening or allowing any further gathering, making sure we stop this outbreak from going any further.”

The order was issued after church leaders announced they still planned to hold large events scheduled for Oct. 25 through Oct. 31, according to WSOC.

All in-person gatherings at United House of Prayer facilities are now canceled until at least Nov. 6, and the church is required to clean and disinfect indoor surfaces.

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COVID-19 Infects 62 Nursing Home Residents In Kansas, 10 Patients Die

KEY POINTS

  • 62 nursing home residents in Kansas have tested positive for COVID-19
  • 10 have died due to the virus
  • 51 are being quarantined in their rooms at the center, while one resident was brought to a hospital
  • Influx of new infections across U.S. may be what health experts believe to be “third wave” coronavirus cases

What health experts believe to be the third wave of COVID-19 cases has reached Kansas as the virus infected nearly an entire nursing home in its wake.

The Norton Country Health Department told NBC News the outbreak happened at the Andbe Home earlier this week. All 62 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, while 10 have died.

A total of 51 patients are being quarantined in their respective rooms at the center, while one resident was brought to a hospital. An “unspecified” number of staff members have also contracted the virus. Health officials said all staff members of the nursing home are being tested.

One week of new Covid-19 cases One week of new Covid-19 cases Photo: AFP / John SAEKI

“Steps are being taken to prevent any further outbreak including quarantining residents in their rooms and not allowing outside visitors into the facility,” said Health Department, adding that family members of the residents have been notified of their situation.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported that, as of early Monday, the state has 72,968 cases of COVID-19. A total of 872 deaths were reported state-wide, while 525,426 tests turned out negative.

A total of 2,113 new cases and 13 new deaths were also reported since Friday.

The grim increase of new COVID-19 cases that is sweeping across the United States and some countries in Europe is what experts claim to be the third – and possibly largest – outbreak of the virus. Business Insider wrote in an article over the weekend that the U.S. saw an average of more than 50,000 cases per day, with the country’s seven-day average of new cases have skyrocketed to about 25% since the beginning of the month.

“We’re clearly in the third wave if we’re looking at the true overall case counts in the country, realizing that our baseline has gotten higher and higher,” Columbia University emergency medicine physician Dr. Dara Kass told Yahoo. “So, as we head into this third wave over the country, we’re still now 40,000 to 50,000 cases a day.”

While reasons for the sudden rise of infections range from other states slowly loosening lockdown and stay-at-home guidelines and reopening of businesses and schools, Vanderbilt University epidemiologist Dr. William Schaffner also sees the country’s current plight will be made complicated this winter.

“During the summer, people went indoors for air conditioning, but they did spend more of their time outdoors. Nonetheless, it spread as people become lax in their attention to social distancing and mask-wearing. As far as I can tell, that’s growing,” Schaffner told CNBC.

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Outbreak infects 33 inmates at Alaska prison

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — State officials say an outbreak of coronavirus has infected 33 inmates at a prison in Fairbanks, causing the facility to go into quarantine for 14 days. The Alaska Department of Corrections says 32 of the cases at the Fairbanks Correctional Center are men and one is a woman. All of those infected were housed in the general population. Other inmates are being tested for coronavirus, with results expected by Monday. The inmates with coronavirus are being isolated in a separate unit of the prison. The facility serves northern Alaska and has male and female inmates, some of whom are serving sentences and others of whom are awaiting trial.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:


— President Donald Trump is showing new determination to minimize the threat of the virus that has killed more than 215,000 Americans and complicated his chances of re-election.

— Police say a man upset with a mask mandate threatened the mayor of Wichita, Kan.

— Britain’s Space Agency is backing a medical drone delivery service that aims to move virus samples, test kits and protective equipment between hospitals.

— A spike in cases in Europe deals a bitter blow to the economy.

— Rural parts of the American Midwest are seeing a surge in cases and hospitals are struggling to keep up.

— In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of “difficult months” ahead as the nation posted another daily record of new cases Saturday.

— Iran announces its virus death toll has reached 30,000.

— The Dutch royal couple has cut short a Greek vacation after an uproar back home.

— AP PHOTOS: India holds digital fashion week amid pandemic.

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— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

Pennsylvania is reporting 1,857 new COVID-19 cases, the second-highest daily total since the beginning of pandemic, days after officials said the commonwealth was seeing a “fall resurgence” of the coronavirus.

The numbers announced Saturday by the state health department are exceeded only by the 1,989 cases reported April 9 and bring the statewide total to almost 181,000. Nine new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of deaths associated with the virus to 8,466.

On Wednesday, the state’s health secretary pronounced Pennsylvania “at the start of the fall resurgence” of COVID-19 but said there were no plans to reimpose a stay-at-home order or shut down businesses again in response.

Dr. Rachel Levine said Pennsylvania is more prepared for such an influx than it was in the spring, citing a contact tracing program in place, more personal protective equipment supplies and enough hospital beds available.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The number of

hospitalizations due to the coronavirus remained near a record high in Oklahoma on Saturday while the number of reported cases increased by 1,195 and deaths rose by 14.

Some 792 people were hospitalized, the state Department of Health said Saturday, one fewer than the one-day record of 793 reported Friday. There are

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Coronavirus Outbreak At Harborview Infects 4 Patients, 1 Dead

SEATTLE, WA — A coronavirus outbreak in a surgical care unit at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center has infected 10 health care workers and four patients, including one who died from the illness, the hospital announced Friday.

Dr. John Lynch, director of Harborview’s Infection Control program, said the patient who died had “a number of comorbidities” and was taken to an intensive care unit. Three of the patients had been at Harborview for more than two weeks, meaning they likely were infected at the hospital, Lynch said. The infected staff members have not required hospitalization and are recovering in isolation at home.

The outbreak is Harborview’s first, Lynch said. According to the Washington State Department of Health, at least 321 outbreaks have been associated with health care facilities. Recent ones were recorded at Kirkland’s EvergreenHealth and Bremerton’s St. Michael Medical Center.

(Washington State Department of Health)
(Washington State Department of Health)

Harborview identified the first illnesses associated with the outbreak at the beginning of October, Lynch said, prompting officials to close the unit to new admissions and test all patients and staff. The unit is for non-intensive care and a place where patients often are treated before and after surgery.

Hospital leadership is still determining how the virus made its way into the facility. Lynch said the hospital performed genome sequencing on all of the viruses, which returned similar results, and are examining staffing records for overlaps when the outbreak occurred. While the source remains unknown, Lynch said it is likely to have originated from a health care worker exposed to the virus in their everyday lives.

“I’m not blaming anyone,” Lynch said. “This is really a problem of the larger pandemic and the impact it’s having on people.

Nine months into the pandemic, and with “COVID fatigue” setting in for so many, gaps in precautions can take place both on and off the job.

“This is a virus that preys upon any variation in behavior,” Lynch said. “We have very robust personal protective equipment to keep health care workers safe and to keep patients safe. But, when we vary from that, in any way, shape, or form — in the community, or at work — this virus takes advantage of it.”

Harborview identified 30 potential exposures among medical staff who were not always wearing eye protection. Lynch said each staffer is quarantining out of an abundance of caution.

Another challenge, Lynch said, is rising coronavirus transmission throughout King County, which creates the conditions that make an outbreak more likely to occur, even with robust precautionary measures in place.

“Until we get community levels under better control, all health care facilities, all health care workers are going to be at increased risk,” Lynch said. “Where we are in our rate, approaching 100 cases per 100,000 over the last 14 days — that is an unacceptably high rate, and it puts both our community and our hospitals at a very high risk.”

The unit remains closed to new admissions and thorough outbreak surveillance is continuing

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