Five residents of a South Yarmouth nursing home died in recent days following an outbreak of COVID-19, which also caused more than 90 additional cases among residents and staff.
The state Department of Public Health has ordered Pittsfield-based Integritus Healthcare, which operates Windsor Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in South Yarmouth, to cease admissions of new residents while officials respond to the outbreak.
On Tuesday, the department deployed a rapid response team to help the facility’s staff care for residents, a state Department of Public Health spokeswoman said on Saturday.
As of Saturday, 75 residents have been infected with the coronavirus, 23 of whom have recovered, Lisa Gaudet, a spokesperson for Integritus Healthcare, said in an e-mail.
Another 19 cases have been reported involving staff, including five who have recovered, she said.
The outbreak began Feb. 21 at the facility, which houses 89 residents, she said.
Gaudet said that “all normal infection control measures” that governed nursing homes since the pandemic began are being followed. The facility is also in daily communication with the state health department and its epidemiology team, she said.
“We have their rapid response team in place along with our own infection control teams,” Gaudet said.
The rapid response team has about a dozen members, and includes licensed nurses and certified nursing assistants, according to the state.
They work with facility staff to provide clinical care to residents, including administering medication, and assisting with eating and bathing, according to the state spokesperson. The team also conducts audits on personal protective equipment and hand hygiene.
The outbreak in Yarmouth comes as the state continues to issue weekly reports detailing scores of new COVID-19 deaths, and thousands of new cases, from across Massachusetts.
In the week leading up to March 2, 87 deaths and 3,356 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported statewide by the health department.
The state’s pandemic death toll was 22,304 as of March 2, with more than 2 million total cases in the state, the department has reported.
If the state Department of Public Health determines a nursing home or other long-term care center “is at risk of an uncontrolled outbreak” for COVID-19, it can order that facility to cease admitting new residents, according to a November memo from the department.
The state stopped admissions at three other long-term care facilities too — in Worcester, Millis, and Westfield — within the span of a week late last month. The state imposed the orders between Feb. 22 and Feb. 28.
The state did not provide details Saturday on why those facilities were ordered to stop admitting new residents.
A spokesperson for the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment referred questions to the state Department of Public Health.
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com.