Little Sisters retirement home sees 11 COVID-related deaths

Little Sisters of the Poor at the Denver Colorado house 2 Credit El Pueblo Catolico James Baca CNA Little Sisters of the Poor. | El Pueblo Catolico/James Baca.

A retirement residence run by the Little Sisters of the Poor in Delaware has seen almost a dozen deaths related to the novel coronavirus, although the sisters say other sick patients are recovering.

Sister Constance Veit, communications director for Little Sisters of the Poor, said 11 people have died from COVID-19 at Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark, Delaware, since March 29.

According to The Dialog, the newspaper of the Diocese of Wilmington, there are more than 60 people living at the retirement residence, including 40 in the nursing unit.

However, Veit said it's been several days since the most recent death occurred, and other patients are beginning to recover.

"We have had 11 resident deaths related to Covid-19, but none for more than two days now, so we feel we may have turned a corner," she said on Sunday.

"I was going around to wish the residents happy Easter and found a few of them who have been sick looking quite good," she said, according to The Dialog.

COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for elderly people and those with pre-existing medical conditions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that 80% of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. have occurred among people ages 65 years and older.

All of those who died from the virus at the Jeanne Jugan Residence suffered from an underlying condition, The Dialog reported.

Sister Veit reflected on the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday, and the hope it provides amid grief.

"Today, on Easter Sunday, as I reflect on the loss of … residents, I realize that faith in the resurrection of Jesus is the only thing that can make sense out of this situation," she said.

"Because of the resurrection we know that Jesus is still alive and walking at our side. Through our faith in the resurrection we believe that those who have died are in an unimaginably better place, no matter how good our earthly life has been."

She added that while this did not diminish the loss experienced by those whose loved ones had died, she hopes they will find consolation in their belief in heaven.

Viet also expressed gratitude for those in the community who have donated various supplies to the residence.

"And for these we are so very grateful. I think we are OK for everything right now," she said. "We want to thank everyone in the local community for being so good to us and our residents."

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