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Sullivan County nursing home contends with outbreak

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/30/2021 2:07:35 PM
Modified: 5/1/2021 12:20:41 AM

UNITY — A COVID-19 outbreak at Sullivan County nursing home grew this week, according to the facility’s administrator.

Ten residents and four workers have now tested positive, Ted Purdy, the facility’s administrator, said in a Friday update to families.

That total includes one resident and one employee on the facility’s MacConnell unit who tested positive last week. Those first positive tests led to testing of all residents and employees this week.

Symptoms are “relatively mild” and include cold symptoms and low-grade fever, Purdy said in an email.

The facility remains in outbreak status and visitors aren’t allowed in. Full personal protective equipment is being used on the affected units, which in addition to MacConnell includes Stearns II.

Of the nine residents of MacConnell that tested positive, all but one were vaccinated. The single positive resident on Stearns II was asymptomatic. Two workers on each unit also tested positive. Purdy did not indicate whether the workers had been vaccinated.

In all, 92% of the facility’s residents and 75% of employees have been vaccinated. The facility has partnered with Health Direct pharmacy to vaccinate new residents and staff.

Vaccine breakthrough cases are expected as no vaccine is 100% effective at preventing illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is some evidence that vaccination may make the illness less severe.

This winter, Sullivan County nursing home had the largest outbreak in the Upper Valley, which included more than 120 residents and nearly 60 workers. Five residents died after testing positive.

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