40 die in coronavirus outbreak at Virginia nursing home

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A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Forty residents at a long-term care facility in Virginia have died due to an outbreak of COVID-19, according to Dr. James Wright, the medical director of Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center.

The most recent death was reported Friday.

More than 100 people at the nursing home have tested positive for the virus, making the cluster of cases there one of the worst in the country.

“This will not be the last untreatable virus to decimate our elders,” Dr. Wright said. “It is a battle that at times we feel we’re losing. It’s a battle that we have fight day and night, seven days a week.”

Dr. Wright said that the mourning period continues at the Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center.

“We see these residents as family,” Dr. Wright said. “Our frontline workers have cared for them again for sometimes 10-15 years. To see a resident pass and to have nothing you can do to prevent that from happening is traumatic.”

He said the biggest issues the healthcare center is facing in response to the COVID-19 crisis are low funding, lack of staff and lack of equipment.

“How difficult it would be to isolate and cohort patience in a facility where many of the rooms are shared, and moving people involves moving a decades worth of belongings,” Dr. Wright said. “With the staff shortages we had, we knew it would be a daunting task.”

He says 86 residents have recovered from the virus and are expected to get back to their regular routines soon.

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