DANVERS – Eight residents of a nursing home in Danvers have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a message on the facility's website.
Hunt Nursing and Rehabilitation Center administrator Beth Barends said all residents who have tested positive or shown symptoms of the virus have been moved onto one unit.
"We remain in close communication with our residents and families throughout this unprecedented situation," Barends wrote in the message on Friday.
The situation at Hunt reflects the risks facing nursing homes as the coronavirus continues to spread. Older adults and people who live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities have a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In her statement, Barends said Hunt Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has enough personal protective equipment for its staff. She said the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Danvers Board of Health have been notified of the positive tests.
Barends said all residents at Hunt are checked for potential symptoms at least three times a day. In order to be tested, residents must be symptomatic or have a temperature over 100 degrees, she said.
Hunt Nursing, which is located on Lindall Street in Danvers, has 120 beds, according to the Nursing Home Compare website.
"Our primary concern is continuing to support our residents and staff while taking every measure to safeguard their health and safety," Barends wrote. She could not be reach for comment on Sunday.
Rich Bane, the president of BaneCare Management, said these are "very challenging times" for all nursing homes. His company manages Ledgewood Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Beverly and Seacoast Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Gloucester. The facilities are owned by Beth Israel Lahey Health.
Bane said on Sunday that no residents of Ledgewood or Seacoast had yet tested positive for COVID-19.
"We are doing everything we can to protect our residents and staff from the virus," Bane said.
Bane said the biggest challenge for nursing homes is staffing and protective equipment. Residents and staff are monitored several times per day, he said.
"Our front-line staff are heroes in every respect and we are doing everything possible to support them as they provide the care to our residents who are certainly most vulnerable," he said.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535 or email@example.com.