CMC and the Elliot Health System investigating COVID-19 clusters

COVID-19 positive patients detected at both Manchester hospitals.

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Workers during shift change at CMC got some appreciation from police and fire during one of two “thank you” moments in mid-April. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

MANCHESTER, NH — Catholic Medical Center (CMC) and Elliot Hospital (part of SolutionHealth), in conjunction with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, are each investigating a cluster of patients and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Earlier this week at CMC, two asymptomatic patients from the same unit were discovered to be positive after being tested for placement at long-term care facilities.  At the same time, a staff member on that unit also tested positive.

Out of an abundance of caution, CMC has tested all patients on that unit and more than 600 employees – anyone who may have been even remotely exposed between May 20 and May 26.  Seven patients and seven staff have come back positive, though employee test results continue to come back.  None of the seven patients had shown COVID-19 symptoms at the time of testing.

Similarly, at Elliot Hospital, five patients on the geriatric psychiatric unit have tested positive.  The hospital is currently testing the remaining patients and all staff on the unit.

Danielle Gerrior, 31, a registered nurse at the Elliot Hospital in Manchester, shows the layers of protective gear nurses must don while working. Courtesy Photo

Both hospitals are conducting contact tracing to determine the source and scope of exposure, which appears to have occurred via asymptomatic spread in both cases.

“The asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 makes this an especially insidious virus,” said CMC President & CEO Joseph Pepe, MD.  “I want to recognize the swift response of the team here to conduct widespread testing so that we can appropriately care for those who are positive and reduce the risk to others.”

“The fluctuation in COVID-19 cases is not surprising given the experience in the rest of the country,” stated Elliot Hospital President and SolutionHealth Executive Vice President Greg Baxter, MD. “And it’s important to remember that, as requested by the Governor in his stay at home order, we’ve developed a system that allows us to flex our resources to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as meet the needs of patients who are suffering from delaying their care during the early weeks of the pandemic.”

Both hospitals remain prepared for a surge in COVID-19 patients and continue to remain vigilant of community spread. In the coming days, both hospitals will continue to work with the Department of Health and Human Services and Commissioner Shibinette to manage these emerging situations.

About CMC 
Catholic Medical Center (“CMC”), a member of GraniteOne Health, is a nonprofit regional health system, with a commitment to delivering the highest quality and most advanced healthcare to patients across New Hampshire.  CMC is the home of the nationally-renowned New England Heart & Vascular Institute, rated among the top cardiovascular programs in the country. Our doctors were the first in the state to perform a mechanical heart/left ventricular assist device implant and first in New England to implant the WATCHMAN™ for atrial fibrillation. CMC was also one of the first hospitals in New Hampshire to establish a joint venture with independent medical staff members when it became a partner in the freestanding Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Center and imaging center. CMC’s birthing unit, The Mom’s Place, was the first hospital in the country to have a neonatal unit based on “couplet care.” Our nationally-accredited Breast Care Center was the first in the state to use contrast enhanced mammography and SAVI SCOUT® localization for breast surgery. With primary care practices that care for the very young to the young at heart and our dedication to community outreach programs, CMC is helping to foster a healthier community, everyday. 

About Elliot Health System, a member of SolutionHealth
Elliot Health System is a non-profit organization serving the healthcare needs of the community since 1890. The largest provider of comprehensive healthcare services in Southern New Hampshire, Elliot Hospital, a 296-bed acute care facility and the first community hospital in the state, serves as the cornerstone of the health system. Elliot is home to Manchester’s designated Level II Regional Trauma Center, Elliot Breast Health Center, Elliot Urgent Care, a Level 3 Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Elliot Medical Group, Elliot Regional Cancer Center, Elliot Senior Health Center, Visiting Nurse Association of Manchester and Southern New Hampshire, 1-Day Surgery Center, Elliot Memory & Mobility Center, NH Arthritis Center, Elliot Retail Pharmacy, Elliot Medical Centers in Bedford, Londonderry, Hooksett, and The Elliot at River’s Edge. For more information about any of Elliot’s services, call 669-5300 or visit