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Coronavirus cases at two Harford nursing homes double in five days

The Forest Hill Health & Rehabilitation is one of two Harford County nursing homes that have confirmed cases of the coronavirus at the facility. As of Monday, 38 residents and 19 staff have tested positive for the virus at the Forest Hill facility and four patients have died, a spokesperson said.
The Forest Hill Health & Rehabilitation is one of two Harford County nursing homes that have confirmed cases of the coronavirus at the facility. As of Monday, 38 residents and 19 staff have tested positive for the virus at the Forest Hill facility and four patients have died, a spokesperson said. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases reported by two Harford County nursing homes has nearly doubled in five days, a spokesperson for the facilities said Monday.

Forest Hill Health & Rehabilitation and Bel Air Health & Rehabilitation on Monday reported 87 total cases of the respiratory virus and four related deaths, according to Lauren DiGeronimo, the managing director for a communications firm representing the nursing homes.

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All four deaths were at the Forest Hill location, where most of the cases are concentrated. As of Monday, 38 residents and 19 staff have tested positive for the virus at the Forest Hill center; 32 are being cared for in-house, with two receiving care in a hospital, DiGeronimo said.

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At the Bel Air location, 20 residents and 10 staff members have tested positive for the virus as of Monday. There have been no confirmed deaths in the center, and 17 are being cared for in-house with another three being treated at a hospital, DiGeronimo said. No coronavirus-related deaths have been reported at the Bel Air center as of Monday.

Those new cases correspond to increases in the Forest Hill and Bel Air North ZIP codes where the respective centers are located, according to the latest data compiled by the Maryland Department of Health.

On April 23, Forest Hill recorded 49 cases, but the state reported 89 there on Monday. Bel Air North had 47 on April 23, but the state numbers showed 56 cases on Monday.

The coronavirus has rocked nursing homes across the regional, though Maryland health officials have not provided a list of infected nursing homes, even to administrators and staff.

Last week, Maryland health officials denied a request from The Baltimore Sun for a list of nursing homes across the state with confirmed coronavirus outbreaks, saying “the disclosure serves no public health purpose."

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