Nursing homes in MA and NH hit hard by coronavirus

NASHUA, N.H (WHDH) - Ten people have died and 90 others have tested positive for COVID-19 at three long-term care facilities in New Hampshire, the state’s health commissioner said Wednesday.

Nineteen assisted living residents and 11 staff members at the Huntington at Nashua have tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus, and five residents have died, said Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette.

At the Hanover Hill nursing home in Manchester, there have been four resident deaths among 37 infected residents and 13 infected employees. And at a group home run by the Crotched Mountain Foundation in Greenfield, one resident has died after three residents and 11 staff members were diagnosed.

These deaths account for more than half the state’s deaths which now sits at 18.

“Our increase number of deaths is related to three residential nursing home outbreaks within the state,” Shibinette explained.

In addition to these facilities, state health officials said that more than 10 other longterm care facilities have isolated positive patients.

“We are not going to report on those isolated instances but if those facilities start to experience similar to an outbreak we will work with them as we have done with the three facilities do public releases and to transparent,” Shibinette said.

The New Hampshire Health Care Association, which represents nursing homes, is calling on the state to use federal Medicaid money to support nursing home care as several other New England states have done.

In Massachusetts, 77 residents of AdviniaCare at Wilmington have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said and seven have died.

All seven were receiving end of life care before testing positive.

The increase in deaths at these New England facilities is prompting some investigations.

Mass. Attorney General Maura Healey announced Wednesday that she will be investigating an incident at the Holyoke Soldiers Home after 18 of 25 recent deaths have been attributed to COVID-19. More than 130 residents and staff have tested positive at the facility.

Last week, Governor Charlie Baker announced that a separate investigation will also look into the management and oversight at the home.

“I think we are all appalled by what took place at the soldiers’ home lack of follow-through on standard protocols,” he said.

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