At least four residents have died of COVID-19 at Littleton's Libby Bortz Assisted Living home, according to the Tri-County Health Department.
Another resident from the facility died before a test could be conducted, but showed symptoms and was exposed to confirmed cases, said Ashley Richter, the department's manager of epidemiology. The death is classified as a “probable case,” Richter said.
The deaths were first reported by the Colorado Sun.
All residents were in their 80s and 90s, and all died in the hospital, according to an email from Kim DeCero, a spokeswoman for South Metro Housing Options, which owns the 115-apartment facility at 5844 S. Curtice St.
Four more residents and one staff member have tested positive for the virus, DeCero said.
The facility is closed to visitors in efforts to slow the spread of the virus, said DeCero, who declined a phone interview. Further, group activities have been postponed, meals are delivered to residents' apartments, residents' temperatures are checked twice a day and staff are being monitored for symptoms.
The facility is being regularly disinfected, she said, and residents have been given tablet computers to video chat with relatives.
DeCero said the facility is “working closely with local health officials to ensure we have all the protective gear our staff needs, such as N95 masks, protective eye wear, gloves, gowns, and shoe covers, and that we are following all guidelines and protocols.”
Senior living facilities are especially prone to deadly outbreaks of COVID-19, said Richter, the epidemiologist.
“Elderly people are more likely to have a more severe course of illness, and more likely to have a fatal outcome,” Richter said. “When you get a setting where elderly individuals, often with underlying medical conditions, are living in a confined area, it's the perfect storm.”
DeCero said South Metro Housing Options is doing everything it can to combat the outbreak.
“Our dedicated staff continues their valiant efforts around the clock to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our beloved residents,” DeCero said. “We remain persistent in our crusade against COVID-19 within our community.”
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