Dozens test positive, starting last month, in COVID outbreak at Keene nursing home

·1 min read

Sep. 23—As of Friday morning, there were six known active COVID-19 cases at Keene Center in an outbreak of the viral disease that started there last month, according to an official with the nursing home.

Thirty-three residents and 15 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak began in August, said Lori Mayer, spokeswoman for Genesis Healthcare, which owns Keene Center and several other area nursing homes.

Two residents died while receiving end of life care during this time, she noted, although she said she could not say whether they had COVID due to privacy concerns.

The outbreak was included in the state health department's weekly COVID-19 report Thursday, listing 33 resident cases, 15 staff cases and two deaths.

Mayer said a majority of those infected have had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic.

Ninety-six percent of Keene Center's 130 employees were vaccinated with the primary series (meaning the initial doses of the vaccines), according to Mayer. Genesis Healthcare requires all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, aside from those granted religious or medical exemptions. Of the facility's 80 residents, Mayer said 87 percent were inoculated with the primary series.

Breakthrough cases of the viral disease can and do occur; however, those who are vaccinated often have less severe symptoms and are at a lower risk of developing complications than those who aren't.

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