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Connecticut Nursing Home Reports 8 COVID-Related Deaths, After Virtually All Residents And Staff Were Vaccinated

NORTH CANAAN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) -- A Connecticut nursing home says it is a cautionary tale about the need for booster shots.

It blames waning immunity for complicating an outbreak of the Delta variant, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported Monday.

"We're still grieving with the families, and the staff," Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center administrator Kevin O'Connell said.

The facility in Litchfield County is fighting a COVID-19 outbreak. Infection swept through after virtually all residents and staff were vaccinated.

"We were really proud of the fact that our employees stepped up, they took the vaccine, accepted it. All of our residents did early on. We thought we were ahead of this," O'Connell said.

COVID VACCINE

Only two of the 89 residents and staff were unvaccinated over the last six weeks. Only three residents are currently COVID positive.

Sadly, eight residents died since Sept. 30. All had underlying serious health issues, O'Connell said.

The administrator said employees are tested following state protocols, adding the rapid COVID test is good but not perfect. He said he believes an asymptomatic employee brought COVID into the facility sometime in September.

The spike at the nursing home put the quiet town of North Canaan into what Connecticut calls a "red zone."

The town's top elected official has been monitoring the outbreak closely.

"They had their shots. That's what's disappointing, you know? They had their shots and they all got tested positive," First Selectman Charlie Poretti said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

O'Connell said the outbreak hit just as immunity was waning for residents vaccinated months ago.

"I think it speaks to the importance of getting the vaccine, and then, when you are eligible, getting the booster," O'Connell said.

He said he believes the outbreak is almost over, and hopes to take down the "COVID Outbreak" sign in the next week or so.

In all, 56 of the 67 residents who tested positive have recovered. The home said it had good success with monoclonal antibody treatment.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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