Keene Center

Keene Center

The COVID-19 outbreaks at two local long-term care facilities are no longer considered active, after weeks of resident and staff infections, according to a spokeswoman.

No new cases of the viral disease or COVID-19-related deaths at Keene Center and Applewood Rehabilitation Center in Winchester — which are both owned by Genesis Healthcare — have been reported since early February. The outbreaks became inactive within the past week, according to Genesis spokeswoman Lori Mayer.

As of Wednesday, the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services said Keene Center was no longer on its list of active outbreaks, though Applewood still was. The state has said its data on nursing-home cases often lags behind what is reported by the facilities themselves.

Keene Center’s outbreak began in late December and infected 62 residents and 17 employees, according to Mayer. Twelve residents’ deaths are also linked to the outbreak, she said.

As of Jan. 11, the Court Street nursing home had about 80 residents and 115 staff members.

At Applewood, 18 residents and 11 staff members have tested positive since early January, and one resident died, Mayer said. The facility had 66 residents and 94 employees as of Jan. 29.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by COVID-19 during this difficult time, especially the families of those residents who passed away,” she said in an email.

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 future outbreaks, Mayer said Genesis facilities have been adhering to strict safety protocols, including daily COVID-19 testing, restricting visitation, screening residents for symptoms three times daily and taking staff members’ temperatures upon entering the building.

All outside medical appointments, except those that are necessary, have also been canceled, she added.

Additionally, residents and staff of Keene Center and Applewood began receiving COVID-19 vaccines on Dec. 30 through a partnership with CVS Pharmacy.

As of last week, 71 percent of employees at Keene Center and 79 percent of employees at Applewood had received a first dose of vaccine, according to data provided by Genesis.

Ninety-one percent of Keene Center residents and 89 percent at Applewood had been given the first dose as of last week.

Olivia Belanger can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1439, or obelanger@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @OBelangerKS.