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Sobering reminder after 14 residents, 1 staff member die from COVID-19 at long-term care facility in Bottineau

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In tonight’s top story, an outbreak of COVID-19 at a long-term care facility in Bottineau County has proven to be deadly.

A media spokesperson for Good Samaritan Society says 14 rehab center residents and one staff member have died.

All of those deaths have come in the last three weeks. Four were reported in Bottineau County on Tuesday.

First District Health Unit says community spread is putting long-term care facilities, and their residents, at serious risk.

“Those are grandmas, and grandpas, and mothers, and fathers, and sisters and brothers. These are cherished people and I ache for the staff that are caring for them,” said Lisa Clute, executive officer at First District Health Unit.

The State Health Department lists the death toll in Bottineau County at 13 as of Monday, and with just 150 cases of the virus ever reported there, that adds up to a death rate of 8.6 percent.

Clute says public health workers are pleading with North Dakotans to help slow the spread.

She recommends wearing a mask, avoiding large gatherings and avoiding touching your face. As for the idea of “herd immunity.” she says it isn’t practical.

“To create herd immunity, we would need 70-80 percent of the population to get that. If you look at the death rate to 70-80 percent, that’s a significant amount of deaths and I don’t think it’s acceptable,” Clute said.

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