• The Star Staff

Fatal COVID-19 outbreaks reported in long-term care centers


By John McPhaul

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


Juanita Aponte Morales, president of the Long-Term Care Center Owners Association, confirmed Thursday in a radio interview that several outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported in island elderly care centers.


“There are many outbreaks and unfortunately many lives are being lost,” Aponte Morales said. “There are centers where five to 16 people are dying in a single institution, and this is very sad. It is happening, and it is happening a lot. It is unfortunate and it is an emergency.”


“We are calling for the vaccination process to be accelerated,” she said.


Aponte Morales did not identify the center for the elderly with the highest number of deaths, but did say that no vaccines have reached that particular center.


“The Department of Health is taking samples and taking the corresponding medications there in order to treat those who are infected and have symptoms, and with acute respiratory problems,” she said. “The Department of Health is intervening there and providing support.”


Regarding vaccination distribution, she said “vaccines are being given to us [at long-term care centers], [and to] Walgreens and CVS pharmacies, large chain pharmacies.”


“These pharmacies have started, but seem to have had problems with the lists they have received,” Aponte Morales said. “Perhaps there has not been so much interagency communication with the Family Department, which is [the agency that] regulates us.”

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