COVID Cases, Deaths Rise at Hedgewood

Cluster also forces Marist College to close

The tally of COVID-19 cases tied to an outbreak of the virus at the Hedgewood Home for Adults, an assisted living facility in Beacon, has risen to 74 and the number of deaths to seven.

At the same time, a cluster of a dozen cases has closed Marist College in Poughkeepsie.

A total of 46 residents and 28 staff at Hedgewood have tested positive for COVID-19, and seven residents have died since the outbreak hit the facility last month. A quarantine requiring all residents to remain on the property remains in effect and is being enforced by Beacon police.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said during his weekly briefing on Wednesday (Oct. 7) that the county is still monitoring nine active cases at Hedgewood and that “the spread of the disease” at the facility “seems to have slowed.”

The cases at Hedgewood were uncovered last month after county officials, concerned after being alerted to a single case at the facility, contacted the state Department of Health and collaborated with the agency to test every resident and employee.

Hedgewood, in a statement on Sept. 24, said the resident tested positive after returning to the facility following a hospitalization. In addition to COVID-19-positive residents being isolated in their rooms, visits were suspended and meals for every resident were being delivered to rooms.

The state Department of Health, which licenses assisted-living facilities, said in a statement last month that it inspected Hedgewood for compliance with infection control requirements during an unannounced visit on Sept. 17 and helped the county test residents on Sept. 18. The department said it had no other comment because “this is an ongoing investigation.”

A new cluster of 12 cases has broken out at Marist, said Molinaro. The cases are related to an off-campus gathering last weekend and their number is “likely to change,” said Molinaro.

“It is possible, certainly, that based on that off-campus gathering, that there may be continued transmission,” he said. “We continue the contact tracing process and testing requirements to identify additional cases.”

In a statement, Marist officials said they had suspended all on and off-campus activities, transitioned to all-virtual classes on Friday (Oct. 9) and Saturday (Oct. 10) and instituted other measures, including prohibiting students from visiting non-assigned residence halls.

Marist also suspended on and off-campus activities and switched to all-virtual classes for Friday and Saturday. College officials said the students “who hosted and attended the gathering will be held responsible for their actions and will be disciplined accordingly.”

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