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Center cluster is a nightmare

What is happening at the Chautauqua Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is absolutely heartbreaking. In the last three weeks, the care facility has reported more than 70 positive cases of COVID-19 that have impacted the staff and patients who are staying there.

It is one more cruel result of this vicious virus that has changed the lives of individuals worldwide and here at home. Before this outbreak, the center had been doing a very good job of keeping the virus out of the facility.

Around Christmas is when things took a turn for the worse. Family members, rightfully so, are in anguish and upset. Many of the patients, their loved ones, who have been infected by the virus are at the greatest risk. It confirms what we have been told since the middle of March: this virus can spread like wildfire and it does not discriminate despite the best of precautions.

Our hope is that the facility is doing its best to communicate daily to family members. That is not an easy task, based on what patient volume is at the center.

“The safety and health of our residents and staff is of paramount importance,” said Dawn Harsch, director of corporate communications for VestraCare, the owner of the Dunkirk facility. “Twice-weekly staff testing remains ongoing at our facility and we continue to be proactive in our surveillance measures. This includes monitoring to identify early symptomology in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services guidance, screening of all staff prior to entering the facility, rigorous cleaning procedures, and use of personal protective equipment.”

An article in the OBSERVER on Wednesday indicated that through early this week, there have been five deaths tied to COVID-19 at that Dunkirk facility. This is an absolute nightmare. Keep all those affected — at the facility and around the globe — in your prayers.

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