PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Nine residents of a nursing home in Portland have died in Oregon’s largest known cluster of deaths from the coronavirus, the Oregon Health Authority said.
The deaths at Healthcare at Foster Creek account for nearly 1 in 5 coronavirus deaths in Oregon, The Oregonian reported.
Information released Friday by the Oregon Department of Human Services confirmed the deaths reported by two employees of the nursing home, nurse Morgen Crumpacker and nursing assistant Alyssa Talimao.
About 20 residents of Foster Creek have been diagnosed with the virus or are showing symptoms, Crumpacker and Talimao said.
Meanwhile, the nursing home has had far fewer employees than usual, they said, with many calling in sick or staying home to avoid infecting their families.
Foster Creek needs more help to fight the outbreak and protect residents and employees, they said.
“All of us are motivated and working to keep these patients alive,” Talimao said. “And they keep dying.”
An owner of the company that manages the nursing home, Benicia Senior Living of Oregon, didn’t respond to email and phone calls for comment.
As of Friday, 48 people in Oregon had died of the coronavirus and over 1,300 had tested positive.
Most people with the virus experience mild or moderate fever and coughing for two to three weeks. Some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, can face severe illness including pneumonia and death.
Three other senior communities in Oregon have had major outbreaks.
Laurelhurst Village in Portland has reported the deaths of five residents and positive cases among 57 staff members and residents.
The state veterans home in Lebanon has reported the deaths of three residents and 21 cases among residents.
Seven residents and six employees at Marquis Marian Estates have fallen ill with the coronavirus but nobody there has died, officials at the nursing home in Sublimity said.