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49 residents of a Belmont nursing home have died of coronavirus

Blake Nissen for The Boston Globe

Forty-nine residents of a Belmont nursing home have died of the novel coronavirus and dozens more are infected, the home’s administrator said Friday in an e-mail to families.

Another 67 residents and 73 employees at Belmont Manor have tested positive, though many have had no symptoms of the virus, Administrator Stewart Karger said.

“The loss this represents is nothing short of devastating,” Karger said in his e-mail. “Our collective hearts are broken for the families of these residents, each of whom was the center of someone’s world. Rest assured that our staff did their very best to provide them both care and comfort.”


Last week, the nursing home near the Beaver Brook Reservation said 30 residents had died of the virus at that point.

The 135-bed long-term care facility was near capacity when the virus struck, a spokeswoman said Friday, meaning roughly 80 to 90 percent of residents became infected.

The family-owned facility remains fully staffed, Karger said, and most of the employees who tested positive for the virus but lacked symptoms have waited out a 10-day period and returned to work.

Employees with symptoms are required to wait at least three days after their symptoms are gone and at least seven days after symptoms first appeared before they can return to work, he said.

Across the state and around the nation, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other long-term care facilities have been hit especially hard by coronavirus. On Tuesday, the number of nursing home deaths from COVID-19 in Massachusetts surpassed 1,000.

Karger said staff members at the Belmont facility are carefully monitoring residents and addressing any virus symptoms quickly.

“We are seeing some encouraging signs of recovery among our symptomatic COVID-19 positive residents,” he said. “However, this is a disease that requires continued vigilance, particularly with older and more vulnerable populations; you have my pledge that we will continue to be focused on returning your residents to health.”


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at Follow him @jeremycfox.