The deaths were reported at the Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Henrico County, said its doctor, Dr. James Wright. Another 127 people have tested positive for COVID-19, he said.
“It’s been tough,” Wright, 56, told Reuters. “We were surprised by how quickly this went through,” he said.
And at least 35 members of Canterbury Rehabilitation’s staff have tested positive for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, a type of novel coronavirus. Wright added that some staff members have refused to come into work out of a fear of getting sick.
Wright also said, “It’s a battle that at times we feel like we’re losing. It’s a battle that we have to fight every day and night, seven days a week.”
What’s more, he said there has been a shortage of protective equipment such as masks and gowns.
“We were prepared as we could be,” Wright continued. “What this virus tends to do is find a susceptible population and spread rapidly without being detected.”
As of Tuesday morning, Virginia reported more than 5,200 cases of the CCP virus, killing more than 140 people statewide, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
By The Associated Press’s latest count, more than 3,600 fatalities have been reported in nursing homes and in long-term care facilities across the United States.
Another COVID-19 outbreak killed 24 people and infected 16 at a nursing home in Indiana, while another outbreak killed 38 people and infected 88 people at a veteran’s home in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
One of the first virus clusters emerged inside a nursing home in Seattle suburb Kirkland in Washington, which left 43 people dead, AP reported.