Senator Cindy Rosenwald on Report of Another COVID-19 Lockdown at the NH Veterans Home
Contact Name: Marina Altschiller
Phone: (603) 271-3207
CONCORD - Yesterday, the Laconia Daily Sun reported that 25 residents at the New Hampshire Veterans Home were in a partial, week-long lockdown because an unvaccinated staff member contracted COVID-19.
This comes almost a month after State Senator Cindy Rosenwald called on Governor Chris Sununu to require Veterans Home staff to get the COVID vaccine. The Sununu administration rebuffed the request, refusing to act to protect veterans at the nursing home, even though governors in every other New England state have already taken similar actions. Sununu has routinely avoided taking responsibility for the deadly outbreak at the Veterans Home earlier this year, and refused requests for an independent investigation.
“New Hampshire veterans are suffering because Governor Sununu refused to require vaccinations at nursing facilities last month,” said State Senator Cindy Rosenwald. “Because of his refusal, veterans are living in isolation to protect their health. I urge the Governor to put politics aside and implement this targeted policy to keep safe those who have served our country. We must do everything we can to protect our seniors and Veterans Home staff.”
The latest COVID-19 lockdown comes almost a year after the first reported case of COVID at the Veterans Home that led to the deaths of 36 veterans and resulted in 93 residents — nearly 70 percent of the approximately 135 veterans at the facility — and 102 staff contracting the virus.
In the wake of an unvaccinated staff member contracting the coronavirus, the New Hampshire Veteran’s Home went into partial lock down with 25 residents of Tarr North wing confined to their rooms for roughly a week while they underwent COVID testing. The quarantine lifted at 6:30 am yesterday, according to a resident veteran who contacted this newspaper.
The recent lock down disappointed veterans who were quarantined inside their rooms for roughly a year starting in March 2020, resulting in a drought of interaction and activity they couldn’t wait to end.
Jack Shea, a resident for five years, said returning to living life in his room seemed like unjust imprisonment. “We’re treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark,” said Shea, who contacted the newspaper to express his displeasure. “A week ago today, they locked down the whole northern end of the building.” So far, all residents have received negative results on COVID tests, he said.
“They will disinfect every single room. Then they will free us," said Shea. "This is because a staff member didn’t get vaccinated, and brought COVID in.”