70 residents have died at a Massachusetts home for aging veterans, out of which 68 were tested positive for the coronavirus and it is not known whether others who have died had COVID-19. It is the deadliest known outbreak in the U.S. at a care facility and another 81 employees and 82 residents have also caught the infection. It was informed by the state and federal officials on Tuesday and they are now trying to figure out the root cause and whether the residents were denied proper medical care or other necessities.
The top prosecutor of the state is deciding whether legal action is required in the case and will be investigating to determine what went wrong in the home. Also, the U.S. attorney’s office and Department of Justice’s Civil rights division are trying to find out whether the home violated the rights of the residents by failing to provide the proper medical care.
Reaction of people
Edward Lapointe said, “It’s horrific. These guys never had a chance.”. He is the son-in-law of one of the residents who had a mild case of the coronavirus.
The superintendent of the home, Bennett Walsh, defended by informing that the officials knew all about the extent of the problem- the shortage of staff, that plagued the home for years, and contagion at the facility- since almost a month and were falsely claiming that they were unaware about the “crisis mode” of the home.
A nurse from home told that the staff shortage problem fueled it and workers kept moving from one unit to another, bringing the germs with them infecting the healthy people. She also added that after a point of time, due to staff shortage, a unit was shut down and people from that unit were moved to other parts of the building, grouping the infected people with the healthy ones.
Governor extends stay-at-home orders
Governor of Massachusetts has extended the stay-at-home order until 18th May.
The current situation:
There were 230 residents living in the home in late March but now about 100 are left so the situation is “somewhat contained”. The federal government has asked more than 15,000 nursing homes to start reporting the number of presumed as well as confirmed deaths and infections.