Of 70 Residents at a NH Nursing Home, 66 Have COVID

“You just hope and pray that it doesn’t come into your facility and, when it does, it’s very real”

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A nursing home in New Hampshire is dealing with a coronavirus outbreak that’s reached more than 90% of its elderly residents and is now turning deadly.

Martha Ilsley, the acting administrator at Hanover Terrace Health and Rehab in Hanover, said they’ve done everything possible to keep COVID at bay, but the virus got in late last month, and now it’s spreading like wildfire.

“You just hope and pray that it doesn’t come into your facility and, when it does, it’s very real,” Ilsley said in a virtual interview Wednesday.

Of the 70 residents who live at Hanover Terrace, 66 are fighting COVID-19. And on Tuesday night, the facility logged a grim milestone.

“We did have one death that is COVID-related,” Ilsley said. “Our hearts go out to that family.”

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Ilsley said the nursing home was COVID-free until Thanksgiving weekend, when two residents tested positive.

Now, more than 90% of residents have COVID and 26 staff members are sick as well.

“We were very surprised, we’ve been so aggressive with preventing it from coming into the building,” she said.

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The cause of the outbreak is unclear. The nursing home is now testing residents every single day until there are no more positive cases.

Ilsley said staff members have been in full PPE since the beginning of the pandemic, outsiders haven’t been allowed in since March and, sadly, residents have been isolated from their families for months.

“We’ve been obviously communicating with them via FaceTime, Zoom and telephone calls daily,” she said.

But now, amid the outbreak, they’re fighting for their lives without their loved ones.

Ilsley is just hoping the heartbreaking reality of what’s happening inside Hanover Terrace, and the faces of the health care heroes working the front lines, will motivate others to mask up. 

“Everybody should do everything they can to protect themselves and their families,” Ilsley said.

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