Confirmed COVID-19 case in staffer at senior complex in Essex Jct.

Published: Mar. 29, 2020 at 7:07 PM EDT
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Residents in 104 apartments at a senior housing complex have been warned that a staffer tested positive for COVID-19, and to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms in case it's spread.

WCAX News obtained a notification sent to residents at Pinecrest at Essex, telling them to avoid contact with other residents for 14 days if they were near one of the workers there.

We've confirmed that staffer at the independent senior living complex tested positive for COVID-19. We have also learned that staff member's spouse just died from it.

Residents were told to contact their doctor if they have any symptoms, like difficulty breathing, chest pains, fever or coughing.

There are common areas at Pinecrest: hallways, the laundry and mailrooms and bathrooms. Residents have been told not to use them and to avoid visitors unless absolutely necessary.

Staffers were instructed to monitor their health, too. Property management at Pinecrest says it's working with the Health Department to address the issue and is deep cleaning and disinfecting the facility.

Sources tell us the Health Department met with management. The Health Department won't comment specifically about Pinecrest but did say it's "especially concerned about exposure risk in group settings" and that the "team is working very hard to identify people who may have been exposed to COVID-19." It is also giving guidance and recommendations about protective actions to take.

Family members of residents living there say the staffer with COVID-19 was interacting with others at Pinecrest in common areas within days of the diagnosis and was visibly sick. They're asking for widespread coronavirus testing at the facility. We haven't been able to confirm whether that will happen.