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COVID outbreak at senior apartment complex in Claremont

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 5:59 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 5:57 AM EST
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CLAREMONT, N.H. (WCAX) - There has been another coronavirus outbreak in the Upper Valley. This one is at a senior apartment complex in Claremont where daily health care is not provided.

COVID-19 cases in Claremont are on the rise and that includes a new cluster of cases at the Earl Bourdon Centre. “It was a shock,” said Joanna Chaw, who has lived at the complex for about four years. She recently was tested and is not one of the two dozen or so people who have contracted the virus. “God’s on my side so he blesses me all the way through this,” she said.

Fire Chief Bryan Burr is also the city’s emergency management director. “It’s an older population but it’s not a health care facility or elder care facility,” Burr said. This means, in some ways, the people who live here are on their own when it comes to health care. The local hospital was called in to test the population. “Fortunately we have a health care facility in Valley Regional Healthcare that mobilized a team.”

Chaw is looked after by Karmen Letourneau, who works with a local home health care agency. “Without me, she doesn’t have care, so that is part of being an essential worker,” Letourneau said. She says she’s glad the news about the complex is getting out so other vulnerable residents are not overlooked. “It is scary, it is definitely surreal to know that it is here.”

Chief Burr says everyone in the community needs to stay vigilant. “The message is that we have to take COVID-19 seriously,” he said.

The chief has a personal stake in this outbreak. His 88-year-old mother lives at this facility. Luckily, so far, she has tested negative.

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