Colchester rehab center facing second COVID-19 outbreak, 5 resident deaths

Coronavirus

COLCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — The COVID-19 outbreak at a Colchester nursing home is getting worse. More patients and staff are now reported to be infected, and there are now fatalities: five residents have died.

RELATED: COVID-19 outbreak at Harrington Court rehabilitation center in Colchester

There are 76 patients at Harrington Court. Of those, 53 have contracted COVID, including the five who died. 11 patients have been moved to a COVID recovery home in Wallingford.

“Being in the community, it’s something that touched all of us,” said Father Richard Breton of Saint Andrew Roman Catholic Church.

Father Breton has served as a spiritual advisor to some of the Catholic residents of Harrington Court. He and his parishioners have been praying for all of those living and working at the facility after the COVID outbreak.

“We offered prayers for residents and staff” over the weekend, he said.

According to the Department of Public Health, the first infections came to light in mid-September. 12 staff members are also sick. DPH says it has visited the home more than half a dozen times and found several infection control problems.

“As hard as our long-term care facilities have tried and as well trained as they are, it is just a very infectious disease,” said Chatham Health District Director Russell Melmed.

Director Melmed says the overall infection rate in the southeastern part of the state remains concerningly high.

“We’ve seen high rates of community transmission in Colchester lately and so now we see this outbreak, so this is just a case-in-point,” he said.

RELATED: Colchester Elementary School moving classes online for nearly 2 weeks after 3 positive COVID tests, teacher shortage

News 8 pressed the nursing home parent company on its infection control issues.

Genesis HealthCare declined an on-camera interview request, but sent us this statement on its DPH citation:

“Harrington Center is committed to providing high-quality care to our patients and residents. We did receive a Citation from the Department of Health. Since that time, we provided additional staff education and training, and submitted a plan of correction to the state.”

Father Breton has a message for the patients and staff still battling the outbreak at Harrington Court:

“You’re not alone. There are so many of us praying for you.”

Genesis says this is the facility’s second outbreak. The Department of Health says it continues to investigate.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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