More nursing homes report cases, deaths linked to COVID-19

A woman wears a protective mask outside a supermarket in Chelsea,  Friday. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

 

BOSTON (AP) — Seven residents at a Massachusetts nursing home who tested positive for the coronavirus have died, and at least three of those are attributed to complications from COVID-19, a facility official said Friday.

Twelve residents have tested positive for the virus at the Charlwell House Health & Rehabilitation Center in Norwood, said Vice President of Operations Chris Roberts. Some of the seven deaths were blamed on other health problems, he said.

The National Guard responded Friday to another nursing home in Littleton to test residents for the virus that causes COVID-19, town officials said in a statement.

They wrote in a release Wednesday that the Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley failed to comply with “lawful and appropriate” instructions of the town’s Board of Health after a staff member and a patient tested positive.

Nine residents and eight workers have tested positive at the center, and one resident has died, Life Care Centers of America wrote in a press release, according to The Sun of Lowell.

The staff are trained in properly using personal protective equipment “and are following all relevant guidelines in infection control,” the statement said. ”They are putting in heroic efforts to ensure that our patients are receiving the best care.”

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, pneumonia or death.

The number of people in Massachusetts who have died from COVID-19 rose to 154 Thursday, according to state health officials. Nearly 9,000 residents have tested positive, and more than 800 have been hospitalized since the outbreak’s start.

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STATE TAX EXTENSION BILL

Massachusetts lawmakers have approved a bill aimed at helping taxpayers, municipalities and restaurants struggling under the COVID-19 state of emergency.

The bill approved late Thursday would extend the state income tax filing deadline for residents from April 15 to July 15. It would also let cities and towns offer extensions for property tax exemption and deferrals to June 1 and let annual town meeting be delayed beyond June 30.

Any termination of water, sewer, trash collection or other essential municipal services would be prohibited if a resident is unable to pay local taxes or fees because of a COVID-19-related hardship.

The bill would also let restaurants that are licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption to sell wine and beer with food takeout and delivery.

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SUPERMARKET LIMITS

Massachusetts-based supermarket chain Market Basket is limiting the number of customers allowed in a store at any one time to help maintain social distancing during the pandemic.

Each store with be limited to one entrance/exit and a store employee will direct foot traffic, the chain said in a tweet Thursday. Employees will also sanitize a shopping chart for each shopper.

Market Basket has 80 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

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CASINOS REMAIN CLOSED

The state's three casinos will remain closed until at least May 4, state gambling regulators announced Friday.

The continued shutdown of Encore Boston, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park in Plainville is in line with Gov. Charlie Baker's order to close nonessential businesses to help control the spread of the coronavirus, the state Gaming Commission said in a tweet.

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