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Helen Porter reports 5 COVID cases, reduces visitation to nursing home

MIDDLEBURY — Helen Porter Rehabilitation and Nursing today announced that it has partially amended its visitation policy after four residents and one employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Visitors to the Middlebury nursing home and rehab center are allowed two of the facility’s three sections: the Post Acute/Rehabilitation Neighborhood and Long-Term Nursing Care Neighborhood. Visitation is temporarily suspended at the Memory Care Neighborhood until further notice.

Four positive COVID-19 cases were identified at Memory Care over the last several days, UVM Health Network spokesman Frank Giancamilli said in an Oct. 22 announcement. One employee working in Memory Care has also tested positive. All five people who tested positive were fully vaccinated.

Helen Porter is working with the Vermont Department of Health and implementing a variety of protocols to ensure the safety of residents and employees, officials said. All residents and employees at the Memory Care, Long Term Care, and Post Acute/Rehabilitation divisions have been tested with no additional positive results at this time. UVMHN said staff crossover between areas at Helen Porter will be minimized to protect residents and employees.

Care plans have been created for each of the affected residents. Those residents, as well as their roommates, have been offered monoclonal antibody treatments, if it is clinically appropriate, according to Giancamilli’s press release. As of late Friday morning four residents had received the treatment.

“We are working directly with residents, their families and our partners in the UVM Health Network and the Vermont Department of Health to ensure our residents are receiving the high quality care they deserve. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of all residents and staff as this pandemic persists,” said Tom Thompson, president and COO of Porter Medical Center. “We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our patients and residents as we confront the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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