COVID Outbreak Confirmed At Colchester Nursing Home | Connecticut Public Radio

COVID Outbreak Confirmed At Colchester Nursing Home

Oct 1, 2020

As coronavirus cases rise statewide, a Colchester nursing home reported an outbreak this week involving more than half its population, with 56 new cases in total among residents and staff.

The outbreak at Harrington Court Nursing Home is the third at a managed care facility in New London County within the past two months.

“We believe the outbreak started with a patient that was admitted to our admissions observation unit from Backus Hospital” in Norwich, Dr. Richard Feifer, chief medical officer for Harrington Court and other Genesis Health Care affiliates, wrote in a statement Thursday.

The Colchester home reported 45 positive cases among 76 residents and 11 cases among 127 staffers.

Backus Hospital spokeswoman Emily Perkins could not be immediately reached for comment. 

“As this pandemic continues, we remain stringent with restrictions and a whole host of other precautions” Feifer wrote. “As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began providing protocols and guidelines for the coronavirus, we have diligently followed them and in many cases, have gotten out in front of public health guidelines, adopting even more stringent infection precautions than were recommended at the time.”

Feifer added, “We also continue to follow the direction of the Connecticut Department of Health in an effort to contain and minimize the spread of the virus.”

The Colchester outbreak comes one week after Fairview Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care Center in Groton reported four cases, two among residents and two among staff. An administrator with the Groton facility could not be reached for comment and Av Harris of the Department of Public Health could not say whether more cases have been reported at Fairview over the past week.

The highest-profile incident, though, involved Three Rivers nursing home in Norwich. State health officials in mid-September ordered the removal of all residents from that facility after 27 people became infected and four died.

A temporary manager appointed by the state just prior to the closure uncovered numerous code violations.

The closure followed a nearly two-month investigation, health officials said, implying that cases might have begun developing at Three Rivers in July, but reports of infection were not made public until August.

Harris, spokesman for the state Department of Public Health, did not comment on the Colchester outbreak early Thursday afternoon.

But the new infections in southeastern Connecticut come as cases statewide have begun to rise.

Daily statewide infection rates hovered just shy of 2% both Tuesday and Wednesday, the highest single-day marks Connecticut has seen since late June. The state enjoyed rates below 1% for much of the summer.

Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration has noted that weekly infection rates — a rolling average of the previous seven daily rates — remain among the lowest in the nation.

Connecticut’s weekly rate stood at 1.2% on Wednesday. By comparison, many states in the Deep South and Midwest have weekly infection rates ranging from 10% to 20%.