Five more residents at a Durango nursing home experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 have died, new information on Monday shows.
The outbreak was first reported Nov. 23 at Four Corners Health Care Center, after three residents and two staff members tested positive.
Late last week, it was reported that 92 residents and 55 staff members had tested positive for the virus, and 12 residents had died. The center has about 100 residents.
On Monday, San Juan Basin Public Health reported the death toll is now at 17 people. Also, two more residents contracted the virus.
A request for information from Four Corners Health Care Center was not returned Monday afternoon. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also did not respond to a request for comment.
Liane Jollon, executive director of SJBPH, said more than a third of the estimated 306,000 COVID-related deaths in the U.S. have occurred at long-term care facilities and nursing homes, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
“SJBPH acknowledges the toll COVID-19 has taken on older adults in long-term care facilities,” she said. “With these devastating outcomes, we all need to do our part, by wearing face masks, social distancing and avoiding social gatherings, to limit spread in our communities to help prevent COVID from finding its way to these very vulnerable residents.”
Jollon said residents and staff members at nursing homes are high-priority recipients for vaccines.
“We are looking forward to learning more about the roll out of the federal public-private partnership to vaccinate residents and staff here in Colorado,” she said. “It cannot come soon enough for residents and their families.”
According to previous reports, Four Corners Health Care Center is working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Residential Care Strike Team and infection prevention specialists.
In a previous interview, CDPHE said the center had prepared to respond to a positive case by following the public health guidance, such as cohorting residents and staff members.
“Unfortunately, Four Corners experienced a number of cases in their memory care unit, and as many other facilities have experienced, caring for residents with COVID-19 in a dedicated memory care unit can be challenging to control the virus due to the significant cognitive impairments of those who reside in the unit,” the CDPHE public affairs specialist said. “Four Corners worked with the Residential Strike Team to request and was connected with supplemental staff to assist in meeting the needs of the residents in their community.”