At least ten residents of the Beukeloord care center in Meerssen have become infected with corona after a party afternoon with more than 180 seniors in the local community center. One resident has died from the virus.
After the party afternoon in the Stip on October 2, at least seven visitors tested positive for corona. They are said to have infected a few dozen other visitors, but the GGD Zuid-Limburg cannot confirm this because no contact investigation has been carried out. A few residents of Beukeloord were also present at the party afternoon in De Stip. More than ten residents and staff members of the care home have now been infected.
In the municipality of Meerssen, according to the RIVM, 122 people tested positive in the period from 6 October to 19 October. This makes the municipality the frontrunner in South Limburg. In the previous period, 35 inhabitants tested positive. Three people from Meerssen have been hospitalized in the past two weeks.
As a result of these infections, it was decided to cancel the planned Oktoberfest that would take place in the community hall on October 20.
The visitors to the Stip had all been vaccinated or had themselves tested. The QR code was checked at the door. The attendees also had to remain seated. Although everything indicates that the outbreak in Beukeloord is a result of the infections during the party afternoon in De Stip, the GGD cannot confirm this. Board member Guido Biesmans of care umbrella organization Envida does not want to make that link either.
Jef Conings, organizer of the senior afternoon, says he does not know who the source of infection in Beukeloord is. “It may also be that they contracted it from the greengrocer or butcher.”
The situation in Beukeloord, where 51 seniors live, is worrying, according to Envida. Strict measures apply. The infected residents are not allowed to receive visitors and for the others there is one visit per day between 14:30 and 16:00. Face masks must be worn in the building. It is being examined day by day whether the measures can be relaxed.
According to the daughter of the deceased resident of Beukeloord, corona has become fatal to her father. Envida cannot confirm that. Nursing care director of Envida Guido Biesmans says that vaccination against the coronavirus never means that you are 100 percent safe. “As you get older, that protection decreases. So even if a resident is vaccinated, he or she can still get sick. Maybe not as severe as before the vaccination, but even a mild form of Covid can be for someone in very poor health. become fatal.”
Care under pressure
According to an employee of Beukeloord, who spoke to local broadcaster Meer Today, most residents are very ill. “Most people will recover, because they have been vaccinated,” says the employee. It is the first time that corona has been diagnosed in a nursing home. “You can compare it with a severe flu.”
Board member Biesmans of Envida says that the care for the residents of Beukeloord is under pressure due to the corona outbreak. “We are scaling down the care and employees from other institutions come to help,” he says. “We have given the urgent advice to keep the 1.5 meters. If the situation repeats like this, I cannot guarantee that we will have the same situation as last year.” It is not yet known whether the sick residents have been vaccinated. “As far as I know, the vaccination rate among the residents is high.”