CONCORD — A man who lived in a group home for adults with disabilities has died and other staff and residents have fallen ill as New Hampshire responds to the coronavirus pandemic.
Developments across the state:
GROUP HOME INFECTIONS
An adult resident of a New Hampshire group home for people with disabilities has died because of complications from COVID-19, and several other residents and staff members have tested positive.
Officials with the Crotched Mountain Foundation in Greenfield said Wednesday that the 46-year-old man who died Sunday had significant disabilities and a history of respiratory complications. Two other group home clients and three staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
“The Crotched Mountain family mourns the loss of one of our residents,” said Ned Olney, the foundation’s president and CEO. “As an individual with a challenging medical profile he was particularly susceptible to the insidiousness of this virus. Together we grieve and remain vigilant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
In addition to the group home, the nonprofit foundation operates a day and residential school for children with disabilities and provides autism services, accessible sports programs and case management services for seniors and adults.
Nearly 370 people in New Hampshire have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Three people have died, and nearly 50 have been hospitalized.
For most people, it causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
The head of a state watchdog group is urging neighbors, delivery people and others to keep an eye out for abused and neglected children.
Moira O’Neill, director of the Office of the Child Advocate, said home confinement and disrupted routines likely have increased common stresses known to contribute to child abuse, such as economic insecurity and limited access to medical and mental health help.
Referrals to the Division of Children, Youth and Families hotline have been halved in recent weeks with children “out of school and out of sight,” she said.
“Risk of child abuse increases with stress and lack of supports,” O’Neill said. “We need to be checking in with neighbors and making sure children are safe.”