COVID-19: More Upper Valley retirement communities report virus clusters

Staff Reports
Published: 1/15/2021 9:48:56 PM
Modified: 1/15/2021 9:48:54 PM

WINDSOR — More retirement communities in the Upper Valley are dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks.

At the Cedar Hill Continuing Care Community on Route 5 in Windsor, five residents and four staff members in the Village at Cedar Hill memory care center have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to co-owner Patricia Horn.

“So far we have been able to confine it to that,” she said, noting that Cedar Hill’s assisted living and nursing home patients have so far tested negative.

No one has required hospitalization, with residents showing “minimum symptoms” including a low fever, some congestion and some who are more lethargic, she said.

Cedar Hill relies on physicians from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s geriatric team, and “they are coming in, and fortunately – and unfortunately – they are experienced in treating geriatric patients with COVID,” she said.

A staff member first tested positive on Jan. 1. and the campus had already been divided into three pods, with no visitors allowed since late fall. All told Cedar Hill has about 100 residents.

“This is the first time we’ve had any cases during the pandemic, and I feel it is very much tied to the spike in cases throughout the communities that we live in,” Horn said, noting that it’s a trying period for relatives of residents who have tested positive but can have no visitors.

“It’s hard on everybody. It’s particularly hard on families when they know their family member is ill. We have so much empathy for how hard this is for our families,” she said.

Elsewhere, the Valley Terrace Assisted Living and Memory Care in White River Junction has four active COVID-19 cases, according to Executive Director Angela Zizza, involving three residents and one employee.

“The employee is isolating at home and will not return to the community until cleared by health officials. The three residents are currently recovering and will remain in quarantine until cleared by health officials,” she said in a statement.

The facility is scheduled to begin vaccinating residents and staff next Friday.

Meanwhile, an outbreak at Sullivan County nursing home in Unity has grown to a total of 42 people, including 27 residents and 15 workers. Six employees have recovered and returned to work. Symptoms among residents have ranged from none to cough, nausea and fever.

Newport schools shifting to remote learning

NEWPORT, N.H. — Following the discovery of additional COVID-19 cases affecting Newport schools, the schools will all shift to remote learning on Tuesday, after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday, according to a Friday web post from Superintendent Brendan Minnihan.

The schools will reopen for in-person learning next Friday, as long as no new cases affect the schools, Minnihan wrote. The district will deliver meals to students during the remote learning period, he said.

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