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BRATTLEBORO — After a kitchen staff member at Thompson House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center tested positive for COVID-19, in-person visits will not be allowed for at least two weeks.

The plan is to coordinate reopening with the state.

“We are sorry to discontinue in-person visits after just opening them up again, but we continue to work with the Vermont Outbreak Response team to again contain the infection to the affected staff member,” Dane Rank, facility administrator, wrote in a letter sent to families residents, staff and friends Wednesday. “It is the Infection Prevention team and staff members in cooperation with families and residents that will allow us to again stop this infection in its tracks, and ensure that it does not spread to our residents and other staff. We will open again as soon as we are able.”

Rank said Thompson House has dealt with positive cases among staff before. Facility-wide testing was conducted after an employee tested positive for the virus in April and another tested positive in January.

Nearly all Thompson House residents have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, Rank said.

“We will welcome the effect this will have on their safety,” he wrote.

Thompson House has been able to avoid outbreaks seen in other long term care facilities in Vermont and other states. At the governor’s twice weekly news conference on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, the list of active outbreaks at such facilities was down to five, with none in Windham County.

A week earlier, there were 11 outbreaks and none in Windham County. A week before that, there were 15 outbreaks including Holton Home in Brattleboro. The preceding week had 16 outbreaks including Holton Home and Meadowview Recovery Center in Brattleboro.

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