Veterans Home outbreak claims 13, making it deadliest in Lakes Region

Laconia Daily Sun
Published: 12/2/2020 1:19:36 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed 13 residents at the New Hampshire Veterans Home, making it the deadliest outbreak in the Lakes Region since the start of the pandemic.

Commandant Margaret D. LaBrecque updated the facility’s disease statistics on Tuesday. On Nov. 23, she reported that four had died, so the death toll has more than tripled in one week.

Meanwhile, 41 residents are currently battling the disease and at least 40 staff members have been diagnosed with the virus, she said. Seven residents have recovered.

“As COVID-19 continues, we remain extremely thankful for our staff members who continue to wage this war on the pandemic outbreak,” she said.

LaBrecque said she felt extreme sadness over those who have died.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with their family members,” she said. 

The residents at the home are old and many have medical conditions that leave them vulnerable to serious complications. The first case at the veterans home was reported three weeks ago.

The home has been closed to visitors. The virus apparently got in through a staff member who unknowingly contracted the disease in the community.

Veterans homes and long term care facilities have been hard hit.

Fourteen people died at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough in April. Over the summer, nine died at the Mountain Ridge Genesis facility in Franklin.

The experience at long term care facilities in southern New Hampshire has been even worse. A total of 39 people died at the Hillsborough County Nursing Home over the summer.

Symptoms among residents at the New Hampshire Veterans Home include a high temperature and a non-productive cough. There are 135 residents and 280 staff. Admissions stopped for a time during the pandemic.

The National Guard has been testing everyone at the home weekly and rapid tests are available. Blood oxygen levels are being closely monitored.

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