Coronavirus cases, deaths continue to rise in Wareham

May 19, 2020

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Wareham has continued to rise in recent weeks. According to Town Administrator Derek Sullivan, the town had 175 confirmed cases, and 14 deaths as of Tuesday, May 19.

During the Board of Selectmen meeting on  May 19, Sullivan reported that 43 Wareham residents have recovered from the virus, but 14 have passed away. 

Sullivan said that of the 14 coronavirus deaths, four were in the general public, nine were in nursing homes, and one was in an assisted living facility. 

These numbers mark a steady increase in both cases and deaths in town. On May 5, the town had reported 143 cases and nine deaths. There were 103 cases and four deaths reported on April 25. 

Of the 118 residents who are currently sick with the coronavirus, 33 are in the Tremont Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center, one of two nursing homes in town.

Tim Brown, the Director of Marketing and Communications for Athena Health Care Systems provided Wareham Week with a written update on the coronavirus outbreak at Tremont.

“We continue to work to work with our vendors and the state to procure much needed PPE for our staff to ensure for their safety. We greatly appreciate their professionalism and compassion in these uncertain times. We are continuously inspired by them.

Since this pandemic struck our community, 40 of our residents have since recovered from COVID-19. We continue to provide care to 33 residents who are COVID-19 positive, many of whom we anticipate will be considered “recovered” in the coming days and weeks ahead. Every resident’s recovery time is unique to their situation as this insidious virus has affected each resident in a different manner, based on many factors.

To date, we have tested 90% of our staff and are awaiting the results.

 We also appreciate and acknowledge the support of our local community and our families, who recently held a “parade” for our residents and staff to the spirits of everyone at The Tremont,” Brown wrote.

Wareham Healthcare, the town’s other nursing home, was listed by the state as having between two and ten cases of coronavirus. The state provides ranges, rather than exact numbers of cases at long term healthcare facilities.

During the May 19 meeting, Selectman Peter Teitelbaum acknowledged that while any death is tragic, the coronavirus outbreak in Wareham has been relatively well contained for a town of its size, especially with an aging population.

“When this [pandemic] started out, you saw the magnitude of what this disease was doing in other places. I was frankly concerned that we would lose 100 to 200 residents over this,” he said.