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4 die from COVID-19 at WVa assisted living facility

June 23, 2021 GMT

ATHENS, W.Va. (AP) — Four people have died due to COVID-19 at an assisted living facility in Mercer County, West Virginia.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported that 12 of the 14 residents at Rockin’ Chair Residential Care in Lerona tested positive for the coronavirus, according to owner Airwana Arnett. Lerona is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Bluefield.

One of the residents who died was in Hospice care, she said, and two had severe underlying medical conditions. “The other loss was a shock,” she told the paper. “He got sick and could not be revived.”

The other eight who caught the virus are recovering, in addition to four of the 10 staff members who became infected, she said.

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She said six residents and “several” staff members had received the coronavirus vaccine. “The ones vaccinated did not get the bad symptoms,” she said. “The shot may have saved their lives.”

She said some staff and family members of residents refused to receive the vaccine. A pharmacy had offered the shots at the care center.

West Virginia, which has one of the oldest and most at-risk populations, rapidly deployed doses of the vaccine to nursing homes in December.

The Mercer County nursing home had not previously reported any deaths from the virus. Long-term care facilities have accounted for 801, or about 28%, of the state’s 2,872 virus-related deaths, health data show.

The facility is being tested twice a week. “We have got it under control,” Arnett said. “We are going to make it.”