More then 50 residents at the Courtyard Nursing Care Center in Medford have died within the past month and over 100 have tested positive for coronavirus in the most recent deadly outbreak at a long-term care facility in Massachusetts.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by COVID-19 during this difficult time, especially the families of the additional 54 residents who passed away," Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Feifer said.
"We have been devastated," said Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn. "It's a staggering amount of residents."
To date, 117 residents and 42 staff members have tested positive at Courtyard Nursing Care Center, according to Feifer.
An additional eight residents have died during this time, Feifer noted, with four testing negative for COVID-19, three refused testing and one test pending.
"We hit the surge with everybody else in the commonwealth, especially with our long-term care facilities, so it's tragic," Lungo-Koehn said.
The 224-bed nursing facility largely cares for "frail, elderly" seniors with multiple health conditions who are "already more susceptible to the common cold, not to mention a deadly and highly contagious virus like this one," Feifer said.
The average age of the residents who passed away was over 85 years old.
The mayor says the state tried to help make up for Courtyard’s staffing shortages due to the coronavirus, but the state was stretched thin, as well.
"By the time the state set up staffing through the National Guard," she said, "it was a little too late."
Nursing homes across the state has been ravaged by the virus. Long-term care facilities in Massachusetts have accounted for nearly 60% of all coronavirus-related deaths in the state, one of the highest publicly reported rates in the country.
The nursing home is taking "stringent infection precautions," according to Feifer, including daily screenings for residents and patients, visitation restrictions, canceling most outside medical appointments, connecting families through Zoom calls and providing regular updates.
"I can assure you that we are working around the clock to keep our patients and residents healthy and as safe as possible," Feifer said. "We are doing everything in our power – and everything medical experts know as of at this time – to protect our patients, residents and employees."