COVID-19 update for Sunday: Man dies at Sullivan County nursing home; Claremont school announces virus case

  • Foxboro Police Officer Brendan Fayles waits 15 minutes before he can leave after receiving the Moderna vaccine at the Putnam Clubhouse at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. The first large scale vaccination site for the coronavirus in Massachusetts is being held at Gillette Stadium. A soft launch was held Friday before officially opening Monday, Jan. 18 for first responders and health care workers to receive the Moderna vaccine. (Mark Stockwell/The Sun...

  • First responders including Foxboro Fire Chief Mike Kelleher, right, wait 15 minutes after receiving the Moderna vaccine at the Putnam Clubhouse at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. The first large scale vaccination site for the coronavirus in Massachusetts is being held at Gillette Stadium. A soft launch was held Friday before officially opening Monday, Jan. 18 for first responders and health care workers to receive the Moderna vaccine. (Mark Stockwell/The...

  • A health care worker is administered the Moderna vaccine by nurse Joshua Previte at the Putnam Clubhouse at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. The first large scale vaccination site for the coronavirus in Massachusetts is being held at Gillette Stadium. A soft launch was held Friday before officially opening Monday, Jan. 18 for first responders and health care workers to receive the Moderna vaccine. (Mark Stockwell/The Sun Chronicle via AP)

  • Foxboro Fire Chief Mike Kelleher is administered the Moderna vaccine by nurse Joshua Previte at the Putnam Clubhouse at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. The first large scale vaccination site for the coronavirus in Massachusetts is being held at Gillette Stadium. A soft launch was held Friday before officially opening Monday, Jan. 18 for first responders and health care workers to receive the Moderna vaccine. (Mark Stockwell/The Sun Chronicle via AP)

  • Foxboro Police Officer Brendan Fayles is administered the Moderna vaccine by nurse Samantha Schuko at the Putnam Clubhouse at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. The first large scale vaccination site for the coronavirus in Massachusetts is being held at Gillette Stadium. A soft launch was held Friday before officially opening Monday, Jan. 18 for first responders and health care workers to receive the Moderna vaccine. (Mark Stockwell/The Sun Chronicle via AP)

Concord Monitor
Published: 1/17/2021 8:32:32 PM
Modified: 1/17/2021 8:32:29 PM

A male resident passed away this weekend due to COVID-19 at the Sullivan County Health Care nursing home in Unity. Director of Health Care Services Ted Purdy announced the death in a letter that was posted on social media and dated Jan. 17.

Purdy wrote that the deceased resident was living on Stearns 3. He also wrote that, “Since our last letter (on Jan. 15), an additional resident tested positive on Stearns 3 and two residents tested positive with rapid test on Stearns 2. This brings the total resident count to 30.”

The letter also stated that 15 staff members have test positive at the nursing home, and six of them have returned to work.

“Appropriate enhanced precautions remain on each unit,” Purdy wrote. “It should be noted that an important part of our response is, to the extent possible, limiting the staff assigned to each unit to try to prevent cross contamination and still meet the needs for resident care and services.”

Positive test in Claremont school

Donna Magoon, assistant superintendent for New Hampshire’s SAU 6, announced a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Bluff Elementary school in Claremont in an email on Sunday morning.

“We are currently working on contact tracing and will be reaching out to families and staff that have come in contact with the infected person,” Magoon wrote. “Please do not feel you need to get a COVID test at this time.”

Travel for vaccine causes concerns in Mass.

Some community leaders are expressing concern over long distances that residents will have to travel to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

In southeastern Massachusetts, more than 50 municipalities are deemed “high risk” for COVID-19 spread, according to data released by the state’s Department of Public Health but there are no local vaccination sites for those residents, MassLive reported.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said the city and surrounding communities comprising 250,000 people has no state-run vaccination site.

“My God, why should folks here, where the per capita caseload is higher than the rest of the state, have to drive some 50 minutes to Gillette Stadium? That includes the elderly, who are the most vulnerable and probably the most reluctant to drive. It didn’t make much sense to me.” Mitchell said.

The Department of Public Health said it has a virus command center that makes decisions regarding vaccination sites. The command center didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from MassLive.

On Friday, Gillette Stadium opened in Foxborough, Mass., as a vaccination site. On Monday it was expected to expand its vaccination capacity.

Nursing home accused of dodging vaccine rules

Board members at a Rye nursing home “cut in line” for a COVID-19 vaccine, according to New Hampshire health officials.

Thomas Argue, CEO at Webster at Rye, said it was his decision to invite board members to participate at the end of the clinic “so every employee could receive their vaccine first.” The board has a fiduciary responsibility to oversee the facility, he said.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services criticized the decision.

“The department condemns the facility’s decision to allow its board members to ‘cut in line’ to get the vaccine by prioritizing board members alongside their direct caregivers,” Jake Leon, spokesperson for the state health department, in a statement to New Hampshire Public Radio.

The state health department hasn't said whether the state will take any actions against the facility.

Yoga instructor runs afoul of quarantine rules

A yoga instructor who returned to New Hampshire and taught classes after attending a rally preceding the breach of the U.S. Capitol has been issued a warning by New Hampshire’s attorney general.

Joanna Chipi, owner of Zen Den Yoga in Portsmouth, attended went to the rally Jan. 6 and was teaching classes two days later, defying a required quarantine for people who travel out of state, according to the warning, signed by Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards.

“In addition to jeopardizing the health and safety of both the public, your members and your staff, your failure to follow (emergency orders) is a violation of state law,” the warning notice says.

She told Seacoastonline.com that she was expressing her First Amendment rights at the demonstration Washington and that she didn’t participate in the breach. A state official said Chipi told her she thought she didn’t have to quarantine since she wore a mask at the rally.

The Associated Press could not locate a phone number for Chipi, and an email sent to the business wasn’t immediately returned Saturday.

UVM constructs tents

The University of Vermont and other colleges around the state are getting ready for students to return but it will look different than in the fall.

Tents are going up at UVM to create extra space for students to study or eat when they return to campus for classes, which begin Feb. 1.

“It is a lot different from the summer, but also simpler because basically it’s either you have to quarantine at UVM or prior to coming here,” said Gary Derr, UVM’s vice president of operations.

Either way, students will have to complete a two-week quarantine before going to class. Officials also plan to continue that strict regimen with a test for students when they arrive and then once a week for the rest of the semester.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.




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