EDITOR’S NOTE: The story was updated at 9 p.m. to change the totals, which were updated late Thursday from 28 to 31 positive cases among residents, and from 5 to 7 staffers.
MANCHESTER, NH –Mt. Carmel Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, a facility of Catholic Charities New Hampshire, announced late Thursday that 31 residents and seven staff tested positive for COVID-19. Families of residents who tested positive have been notified and are actively working with public health officials.
The 31 residents were tested as part of facility-wide testing requirements from the state of New Hampshire. There is one pending resident test. There are approximately 100 residents and 120 staff at Mt. Carmel.
At this time, most of the residents who tested positive are asymptomatic and none require hospitalization, according the news release. All remain at Mt. Carmel and are closely being monitored and receiving full support and medical care in a setting isolated from other residents.
The seven staff remain in their homes and will be self-quarantining and self-monitoring for at least 14 days. They will not be allowed to return to work until they test negative to the virus.
At this point, these are the only confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 at Mt. Carmel and all but one is confined to one floor.
A statement with further comment by Catholic Charities follows:
We are taking immediate and aggressive steps to protect all other residents and mitigate the potential spread of the virus. This includes restricting both staff and resident movement between floors. Additionally, all staff throughout the facility are wearing advanced personal protective equipment, including N95 surgical masks, face shields, gowns and gloves.
While no other residents and staff are exhibiting symptoms, we are working diligently to determine the extent, if any, of further exposure within the facility. We will continue to assess and evaluate residents on all floors multiple times per day for signs of fever, respiratory illness or other symptoms. If we have identified any residents who may have been exposed, they will be cared for in an isolated setting with full support and constant supervision. Like the staff who tested positive, any exposed staff will self-quarantine and self-monitor for at 14 days.
Protecting the safety, health and well-being of our residents at Mt. Carmel is our top priority. Since early March, we have followed the protocols of our emergency pandemic plan, which incorporates strict guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, World Health Organization, public health agencies and other local, state and federal agencies. As part of this, we are adhering to rigorous safety standards – including the regular screening of staff and residents, social distancing, sanitation, universal masking and a myriad of other protective measures. Furthermore, we have suspended community gatherings – such as special events, meals in our dining areas and other activities – to further reduce close contact between residents. Our staff will continue to build upon these steps as we do everything we can to mitigate any further threat. Moving forward, staff will be tested every 7-10 days.
This is a very stressful and challenging time, especially for our residents and family members we are honored to serve, as well as our staff, who are working tirelessly to protect and care for our residents.
We will continue to maintain the highest level of transparency and provide further updates as needed. We also remain fully accessible to family members of residents to discuss any questions or concerns.