WINCHESTER — Sixteen residents and 10 employees of Applewood Rehabilitation Center have tested positive for COVID-19 since Jan. 4, an official said in response to a Sentinel inquiry Monday.
This is Applewood's first outbreak since the start of the pandemic, according to Dr. Richard Feifer, chief medical officer of Genesis Healthcare, which owns Applewood and several other area nursing homes.
Of those cases, 16 — 12 among residents and four among staff — are considered active, according to Feifer.
No deaths have been attributed to the outbreak, he said. The facility on Snow Road in Winchester has 66 residents and 94 employees.
"It’s important to remember that this virus is coming from the community," Feifer said in an email, "and now more than ever, we need our communities to follow masking, social distancing and other protocols to stop this virus."
Applewood's outbreak comes in the midst of an outbreak at Keene Center, also owned by Genesis. As of Friday afternoon, 77 residents and staff at the Keene nursing home had been infected by the virus since late December, and as of late Sunday, six residents had died. Of the residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, at least 38 have recovered.
Long-term care facilities are especially vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic because the virus is known to travel quickly through congregate-living settings, according to health officials. This is due to the proximity of residents, many of whom have underlying health conditions.
To prevent the virus from spreading further, Feifer said Applewood has been "stringent with restrictions and a whole host of other precautions," including daily COVID-19 testing and canceling all outside medical appointments, except those that are necessary.
Applewood, working in partnership with CVS, had its first COVID-19 vaccine clinic for residents and staff on Dec. 30 followed by a second three weeks later, according to Feifer.
Since the start of the pandemic, 16 residents and 11 staff members of Applewood have tested positive for the viral disease, Feifer said.
This article has been changed to correct the number of staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19. Incorrect information had been provided to The Sentinel.