An 86-year-old resident of a nursing home near Newark has died from COVID-19, marking the second coronavirus-related fatality in Delaware.
The man, who had underlying medical conditions, was a resident of Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan Residence on Salem Church Road. Six other residents of the nursing home have also tested positive for COVID-19.
The Department of Health and Social Services is “actively working with the facility to ensure resident and staff safety,” officials said.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of this individual’s death,” DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker said. “The population who lives in these facilities are at the greatest risk for COVID-19, based on their age and underlying health conditions. Unfortunately, this death and the confirmed cases at this facility underscore the need for all long-term care facilities in Delaware to follow strict screening protocols for anyone entering their facilities.”
Jeanne Jugan Residence, which serves low-income seniors, is an 80-bed facility that includes nursing care rooms, independent living apartments and rehabilitation facilities.
The facility is the first nursing home in Delaware to report a coronavirus outbreak, officials said.
On March 13, the state imposed a number of restrictions on nursing homes, canceling group activities and communal dining and restricting visitors and non-essential personnel like barbers. Residents and employees are regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
Walker said DHSS will work closely with long-term care facilities in the state to verify that these strong measures are in place at each facility, and if, not, to assist them in implementing stronger protocols.