Health officials monitoring COVID outbreaks at Vermont long-term care facilities

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 5:42 PM EST
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BENNINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The state is monitoring COVID outbreaks at a dozen long-term care facilities in Vermont. The biggest one is in Bennington.

The Vermont Department of Health says Crescent Manor Nursing Home and Rehab Center has the highest number of cases right now with 71 in all.

The state says long-term care facilities mirror their community, and as cases continue to rise across Vermont, they continue popping up in long-term care facilities, as well.

“We’re still seeing high daily case counts here in Vermont currently, and we are seeing activity in long-term care facilities,” said Monica White, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living.

As of Monday, 12 long-term care facilities in Vermont are in the throes of an outbreak. Other facilities have cases but enough to be called outbreaks.

Crescent Manor Nursing Home and Rehab Center in Bennington has 71 cases among residents and staff. We don’t know how many of those cases are breakthroughs. But two people have died from this outbreak.

The entire facility only has 90 beds. We don’t know if all are filled and we don’t know the vaccination rate of staff and residents.

White says they don’t know why cases are so high at Crescent Manor.

We tried to learn more about the outbreak without success. We tried to speak with the administrator at Crescent Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center multiple times. Eventually, we were told he would not be available.

We do know sick residents are getting monoclonal antibody treatment.

“That monoclonal antibody treatment has been proven to significantly reduce adverse health outcomes and death in certain circumstances,” White said.

Crescent Manor is still allowing guests, which is in line with the new federal rules. White says she does not see long-term care facilities turning away visitors as they did during the height of the pandemic.

“Given the direction from CMS at the federal level, I would not expect that we would be going to institute additional restrictions on visitation,” White said.

The new omicron variant has not yet been detected in Vermont, and White says it is too early to say what kind of impact it will have on long-term care facilities.

“We’re learning what we’re learning at the statewide level and we’ll adapt and make any additional interventions as necessary,” White said.

White says the public can do their part by getting booster shots if they are eligible to prevent the spread.

The percentage of Vermonters who have received their booster is highest among our oldest residents.

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Vermont tracking COVID outbreaks at long-term care facilities

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