An outbreak of the coronavirus has infected 66 residents of the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Carroll County and left 11 of them hospitalized, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Saturday night. At least one of the residents, a 90-year-old, died, officials said Sunday.
In a statement Saturday night, Hogan called the outbreak tragic.
“Multiple state agencies are on the scene and working closely with the local health department and the facility as they take urgent steps to protect additional residents and staff who may have been exposed,” Hogan said.
Officials said the outbreak pushes past 1,000 the number of people in Maryland infected with the virus, also known by the COVID-19 disease it causes.
The nursing home has implemented measures of strict isolation for anyone with symptoms, county health department officials said.
“We’re maintaining constant communication and will continue to provide resources and support to the patients, their families and facility staff during this difficult time," Ed Singer, Carroll County health officer, said in a statement.
Staff at the nursing home had taken measures to try and curtail the outbreak. They restricted visits, group dining and activities, performed extra cleanings, and tested staff and residents for symptoms.
Rebecca Travels, administrator of the facility, said the staff did all they could to try and stop the virus from spreading. The long-term care facility opened about 46 years ago and has 104 beds.
“We will continue to work tirelessly, day and night, for as long as we need to in order to prevent further spread and to take really good care of the residents that we have here,” Travels said in an interview after the first cases.
Authorities announced Friday the first two cases at Pleasant View.
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Professor Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar in the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said the outbreak was deeply worrisome.
“Long-term care facilities house people who are the most vulnerable to severe illness and death from infection with this virus,” she said. “Were there to be more outbreaks like this, it could easily overwhelm local health facilities that will have to treat these patients.”
Nursing homes are considered high-risk locations for the coronavirus, which is generally more dangerous for older adults and people with existing health problems. Facilities in Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts have seen outbreaks of the virus. In the Seattle suburbs, 35 people died after an outbreak at the Life Care Center of Kirkland.
As of Saturday morning, there were 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Carroll County, though three of those are now considered to be recovered, according to Maggie Kunz, spokesperson for the county health department. That total does not include cases from Pleasant View.