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Norovirus sweeps through county nursing home


February 16, 2011
BERLIN — During the last week of January, over 40 percent of the residents in the Cos County Nursing Home (CCNH) were plagued by a highly contagious gastro-intestinal norovirus, according to administrator Louise Belanger.

By Feb. 1, 66 percent of the residents at the 100-bed facility had been affected by the nasty virus, and about a quarter of the staff.

Karin Salome, the public health nurse coordinator for New Hampshire, entered CCNH into "phase two." Visitors were restricted, and two new admissions were delayed.

On Ground Hog Day, Feb. 2, the situation had much improved, and new norovirus cases had been reduced to only a handful.

"We opened our doors to visitors and two new admissions," Belanger reported at Wednesday's county commissioners' meeting.

The current census is 98, with ll of the residents paying privately. The average daily tally in January was 95.9 percent.

Accumulated sludge in the facility's 10,000-gallon underground oil tank has caused some oil burner problems this winter.

The commissioners approved a $5,000 addition to the facility's $16,000 equipment and repair maintenance line item in the proposed 2011 budget so the tank can be cleaned out and scrubbed over the summer and the residue properly disposed of.

The Berlin nursing home was originally built as an all-electric facility and later converted to oil.

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