Connecticut nursing home COVID-19 outbreak results in 89 infected, 8 dead

Since testing positive, 78 residents and staff have recovered.

November 15, 2021, 5:28 PM

A nursing home in Connecticut is recovering from a significant coronavirus outbreak, after 89 residents and staff tested positive for the virus, facility leadership reported Monday.

The outbreak at Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in North Canaan, Connecticut, began in late September. Eight residents with "serious underlying health issues" died as a result of the outbreak, nursing home leadership said in a statement.

They said 78 residents and staff have since recovered since testing positive, and there are now only three active cases within the community of individuals living within the nursing home.

"We are encouraged to see only 3 active cases of covid-19 remaining within our nursing home. Of the total 67 residents affected over the course of this outbreak, 56 are fully recovered and off isolation. Sadly, we have lost 8 individuals with serious underlying health issues to Covid," Kevin O'Connell, the Geer Village Senior Community CEO, wrote.

Facility leaders said 87 of the 89 infected residents and staff were fully vaccinated, so leaders are "obviously concerned we experienced some level of waning immunity."

The outbreak occurred prior to boosters being made available, O'Connell told ABC News.

"We had it scheduled for Nov. 2, and then that got put aside because of the pandemic," O'Connell said, stressing that officials from the nursing home reached out to Walgreens "right away," when they were told that the booster was made available to residents.

However, O'Connell said that scheduling booster shots can be logistically complicated, because it entails coordinating it for all the staff and residents. "It takes a while to get that all set up," he said.

Booster shots will be made available to all eligible staff and residents when there are no new positive cases for two full weeks.

"We're following the guidance of the Department of Health," said O'Connell, "and they do not recommend providing booster to anybody with active infections for 14 days after the outbreak."

The CDC currently recommends that all individuals, 18 and older, who live in long-term care facilities, receive a COVID-19 booster shot, given the fact that residents are likely to live closely together, and are often older adults with underlying medical conditions, which cause them to be at "increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19."

"We continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates for residents, staff, families and community stakeholders as the situation changes," officials from the home said over the weekend.

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