COVID-19: Windsor nursing home has 30-case outbreak; Co-op worker test positive

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 8/25/2021 5:00:10 PM
Modified: 8/25/2021 6:06:05 PM

WINDSOR — Cedar Hill Health Care, a nursing home in Windsor, has a 30-case outbreak of COVID-19, according to its director.

As of Wednesday, the outbreak total included 20 residents and 10 employees who are confirmed or presumed to have COVID-19, said Patricia Horn, executive director of Cedar Hill Continuing Care Community, which includes the nursing home.

Due to the outbreak, visits, except for those at the end of life, have been paused and employees are wearing full personal protective equipment, including gowns, N95 masks and face shields when working with residents.

PCR testing also has been increased from once a week for unvaccinated workers to as often as three times a week for both staff and residents, Horn said. Staff and vendors coming into the buildings also are using rapid antigen tests, and visitors can opt in to rapid testing as well.

“It’s a very, very difficult time,” Horn said.

The first staff member tested positive on Aug. 18, and the first resident on Aug. 20, she said. Except for two of the infected workers, all of those who have tested positive are vaccinated. Some are experiencing fatigue, nausea, cold symptoms and body aches, she said.

“Most everybody is having mild symptoms,” Horn said.

But one resident had low oxygen levels that employees were monitoring closely on Wednesday, Horn said. It was possible that resident may need to be hospitalized, she said.

To her knowledge, none of the employees were sick enough to be hospitalized, she said.

“Some are having a more significant case than others,” she said.

Horn cited the recent uptick in community transmission due to the delta variant as the likely source of the outbreak.

“I think it’s a really important time to urge people to look at the transmission rate in the community (and) take as many precautions as they can,” she said.

The Cedar Hill outbreak is one of at least five in long-term care facilities in Vermont and comes following several weeks with no such outbreaks.

Cedar Hill Continuing Care Community had a previous outbreak at its memory care center in January that included 13 residents.

In the past two weeks, Windsor County has had 103 new cases and Orange County has had 27. On the New Hampshire side of the Upper Valley during that time, Grafton County has had 215 new cases and Sullivan County has had 113.

Co-op Food Store worker has virus

HANOVER — A worker at the Hanover Co-op Food Store tested positive for COVID-19, but the store remained open because the employee works in a small, isolated department and has little contact with shoppers or other workers, according to the general manager.

The case came less than two weeks after a worker at the Co-op’s White River Junction location tested positive for COVID-19, which required that store to close for a few days.

A few other employees who interacted with the Hanover worker, who last worked in the store on Aug. 20, will be out of work with pay until they get a negative test result, said Paul Guidone, the general manager, in a Tuesday message to the community.

The store did some deep cleaning in the employee’s workspace and reimplemented daily health screenings, aimed at preventing anyone with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 from working, in all Co-op locations.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at or 603-727-3213.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to say a January COVID-19 outbreak at Cedar Hill Continuing Care Community included 13 residents. A previous version of the story had an incorrect total.

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