NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — 55 residents of a North Providence nursing home tested positive for COVID-19, and four are among the 12 Rhode Islanders who’ve died of complications related to the virus so far, the Target 12 Investigators have learned.
Golden Crest Nursing Centre has a total of 123 residents, according to R.I. Department of Health spokesman Joseph Wendelken.
The jump to 55 cases at the North Providence home was sudden. On Monday, Wendelken said there were 15 confirmed cases connected to three Rhode Island nursing homes, including Golden Crest.
Now, there are 120 cases in congregate living settings such as nursing homes, and 14 have at least one case, according to Wendelken.
Wendelken said the concern about the virus spreading in those types of facilities “is why one of the first things we did was clamp down on” visitors.
“It’s not a matter of personal protective equipment, or anything that the [Golden Crest] didn’t do fast enough,” Wendelken said in an email. “The issue is that older adults are extremely vulnerable to the complications of COVID-19.”
The two COVID-19 related deaths reported Thursday were Golden Crest residents — one woman in her 80s and one in her 90s.
Golden Crest’s administrator, Paul Pezzelli, has not yet responded to a request for comment.
The number of cases at Golden Crest is only six short of the total for the entire town of North Providence.
Mayor Charles Lombardi said the news about the facility saddened him.
“We know it is confined to one location,” Lombardi said. “But I am still very concerned for the residents, staff and our police and firefighters who respond there when needed.”
Steph Machado contributed to this report.