A resident of a Maryland nursing home died after contracting COVID-19 in an outbreak that has sickened dozens of the facility's residents and strained a short-handed staff, health officials said Sunday.
A man in his 90s who was a resident at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy died Saturday night after testing positive for COVID-19, Carroll County Health Officer Ed Singer said at a news conference. Singer said 66 facility residents had tested positive and 11 had been hospitalized.
Outside the nursing home on Sunday, a sheriff's deputy and state trooper parked their patrol vehicles and checked all incoming vehicles to make sure people were authorized to enter the premises. Signs saying "NO TRESPASSING'' were staked to the ground, and a half-dozen or so vehicles that pulled up to the entrance turned around after the drivers apparently saw the signs.
The nursing home with 104 beds is also facing a staffing shortage as some employees say they are exhibiting symptoms of the virus themselves and are afraid to go in. Singer said that to his knowledge, no staff members had tested positive for the virus.
As a result the nursing home administrators are "struggling ... to staff and take care of their patients,'' Singer said.
State and local health officials are working to prevent more staffing declines, providing the home with extra masks, gloves and gowns that they are recommending be worn by all staff, including janitors and food service workers.
The number of coronavirus cases rose to about 1,200 statewide on Sunday, an increase of more than 200 from the previous day. Nearly 300 people have been hospitalized and 10 have died, officials said.
In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Gov. Larry Hogan said the number of cases was growing at a ``frightening'' pace ``in spite of the fact that we've taken some of the most aggressive steps in the country on social distancing.``
Hogan said that a lack of ventilators, tests and other supplies was an ongoing problem in Maryland, as it was in other states.
"This is a serious issue across the country that we're all grappling with," he said.
For most people, the new coronavirus 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, including pneumonia and death.