Photo: Belmont Manor where infections and deaths have slowed down
While saying April has been a ‘trying’ month, Wesley Chin, director of the Belmont Health Department, said the most significant COVID-19 hot spot in town has begun to stabilize.
Chin told the Health Board on Monday, April 27 the number of deaths related to COVID-19 has risen to 53 with 51 being residents of “a long term care facility” in town. Belmont Manor is the largest nursing home and rehabilitation center in the community and has been tied to the deaths in local and national news reports.
Since early March, Belmont has 159 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with the vast majority being residents and staff of Belmont Manor.
“It’s been really hard,” said Chin, noting the facility has “a lot of elderly with pre-existing health conditions, and they’re what you would generally think of as being the most vulnerable right now to the COVID-19.”
But recently it appears the epidemic that spread through the 130-bed eldercare facility has lessened.
“It seems like that situation is starting to get a little bit better. Fingers crossed. The rate of fatalities appears to be slowing down quite significantly so that’s really positive,” said Chin.
Chin said his department has regular check-ins with the facility’s staff and administrator while receiving daily updates with the Belmont Emergency Management Agency and the Belmont Fire Department.
At Monday’s Select Board meeting, Chair Roy Epstein said in a statement despite actions taken by the town to assist Belmont Manor, “COVID-19 is an unprecedented deadly and evolving threat to the town as a whole. Our first responders and town departments will work tirelessly against this danger.”
While no one knows when the COVID-19 emergency will be over, “your town government and grassroot organizations like the Belmont Food Pantry and Belmont Helps stand ready,” said Epstein.