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State orders admissions freeze at Sandisfield nursing home because of new COVID cases

Berkshire rehab

The state Department of Public Health has ordered Berkshire Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center in Sandisfield to freeze admissions because of new COVID-19 cases. 

SANDISFIELD — Because of new COVID-19 cases, the state Department of Public Health has ordered an admissions freeze at Berkshire Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center in Sandisfield.

The state ordered the freeze Wednesday, a DPH spokesperson said in an email. Berkshire Rehabilitation is one of 17 facilities under state-mandated admissions freezes as of Thursday.

The DPH can freeze admissions when there are at least 10 cases at a facility or 10 percent of staff and/or residents are diagnosed with COVID-19 related to health care in the facility.

The Sandisfield facility has 57 licensed beds and is operated by Athena Health Care Systems, based in Farmington, Conn.

Neither the facility nor its parent company could immediately provide information on the situation when reached by phone after 6 p.m. Thursday.

Of the 17 facilities that the state ordered to freeze admissions, eight were because of new cases, four were for infection-control deficiencies, four were for noncompliance with surveillance testing, and one was for a staff vaccination rate below 75 percent.

As the omicron variant has spread, COVID-19 cases have increased in Massachusetts, although early evidence shows lower rates of hospitalizations and deaths.

The state reported a one-day high of 9,042 cases Thursday, surpassing the 7,817 cases reported Wednesday and the previous high of 7,635 cases from Jan. 8.

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