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COVID cases are spiking at Springside nursing home in Pittsfield, so the state DPH sent help

Springside Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center (copy)

The Springside Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Pittsfield has had 42 resident COVID-19 cases and 18 staff cases since Jan. 25, according to reports published by the facility.

PITTSFIELD — The state dispatched a team of support staff to Springside Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on Tuesday to help care for the residents amid a rapid spike of COVID cases at the facility.

The “rapid response team” consists of licensed nurses and certified nursing assistants who will provide clinical care, help with infection prevention and COVID-19 testing, and ensure that the facility has enough personal protective equipment and testing supplies, according to the Department of Public Health.

While COVID numbers are going down across the Berkshires and the state, 60 residents and staff at Springside have tested positive over the past two weeks.

According to reports published by the facility, Springside has had 42 resident cases and 18 staff cases since Jan. 25. Total resident cases jumped by 12 from Sunday night to Monday night, according to BaneCare, the facility’s owner.

The DPH said it has connected the facility with the National Guard about providing additional support, but that the facility will decide whether to accept that support.

Recent Eagle reporting based on federal data shows that Springside has struggled to maintain adequate staffing levels, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Required isolation for staff members who test positive could be exacerbating those issues.

The facility did not respond to The Eagle’s request for comment about the outbreak and the status of the individuals infected.

According to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 97 percent of current individuals at Springside were vaccinated and 90 percent were boosted as of mid-January.

Other nursing homes have seen slight increases in case counts over the past couple of weeks as the omicron variant continues to circulate at high levels, but none appears to have outbreaks as significant as Springside’s.

At most facilities owned by Berkshire Healthcare Systems, case counts among residents have increased by just one or two over the past two weeks; none has seen more than six new cases during that period, according to Berkshire Healthcare Systems reports.

The virus swept through Springside last winter, infecting more than 100 residents and staff. The facility reported 21 deaths to the state from the start of the pandemic through the end of last year, according to the commonwealth’s aggregated data.

The federal government eventually cited Springside for failing to staff properly and protect its residents during the first winter surge.

Francesca Paris can be reached at fparis@berkshireeagle.com and 413-447-7311, ext. 239.

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