The Department of Health is monitoring a coronavirus outbreak at a group of residential care homes in Rutland City.

Ben Truman, public health communication officer at the Vermont Department of Health, said Monday there is an outbreak at the Our House facilities currently involving six cases.

Paula Patorti, owner of Our House, said Monday that on Wednesday, a staff member reported to work with a low-grade fever, was tested and sent home. The Department of Health was then contacted and its instructions were followed, she said.

More testing was done, and by Friday it was learned that four staff were positive for COVID-19, along with two residents.

“Only one caregiver is symptomatic, the residents are not, and they’ve all been vaccinated, thankfully,” said Patorti.

She said these are the first cases reported at Our House since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Our House has four facilities in Rutland City, each housing approximately 10 people. She said all but one resident has been vaccinated in full, but could not say how many staff.

“Initially, we tested two of the four houses, so those results are from those two houses, and today we decided that we would test all houses and all staff,” Patorti. “So, we did another round of testing today and we will hopefully have those results, we were hoping today, but it sounds like the lab is a little backed up, so we won’t hear those results until late tomorrow.”

She would not say which Our Houses were the first two to be tested.

“All families (were) informed back on Wednesday, so all of our family members have all of the information that we can share,” she said, adding that each house has its own email list and families of residents are kept abreast of what’s going on regularly.

Our House headquarters is on Mussey Street, while the others are on Allen Street, Main Street, and Jackson Avenue.

While she couldn’t say how many staff had been vaccinated, she said it was readily available.

“Like I said, we’ve been 14 months without this beast and now it’s here. But, knocking on wood, very minimally at this point,” she said.

Our House mainly houses people with dementia, a challenging population to keep socially distanced at all times, said Patorti.

Truman said in an email Monday that besides Our House, there are three other outbreaks being monitored in Rutland County.

He didn’t know the day the outbreaks officially began, but said they will be considered resolved on May 9, May 14, and May 15.

An outbreak is considered resolved 28 days after the last reported case associated with it. The outbreak that will resolve on May 9, according to Truman, was reported at Castleton University with 50 cases.

The department defines an outbreak in a healthcare and supportive residential facility as “Three or more patients/clients/residents or staff members with COVID-19 and known connections to each other in the facility setting,” according to its website.

keith.whitcomb @rutlandherald.com

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