Spared at the start, Overlook Nursing sees surge in cases of COVID-19


BURRILLVILLE – A Pascoag-based nursing home that stayed COVID-free for months while the virus surged at other facilities throughout Rhode Island nearly led the state in new cases in recent weeks, reporting 45 to 49 positive tests among residents.

As of last week, Overlook Nursing and Rehab Center had reported fewer than five cumulative resident fatalities from the virus. The nursing home has been noticeably absent from data lists published weekly by the Rhode Island Department of Health since the start of the pandemic.

But all “45 to 49” cumulative resident cases since March were discovered in the 14 days prior to last week’s data update. The only facility in the state reporting higher numbers for the two-week period was Cedar Crest in Cranston, with 65 to 69 new resident cases.

Statistics from Bayberry Commons in Burrillville remain low, with fewer than five resident cases discovered since March, and less than five in the past two weeks.

And at Crystal Lake Rehabilitation & Care Center, where the virus had an early surge, no cases have been found in the past 14 days.

Located on Rock Avenue, Overlook is a 100-bed, 24 hour facility offering skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language services. The nursing home was family-owned and operated for more than 60 years before it was purchase last December by Overlook Eden Operations, LLC owned by Louis Gellis.

The news of the nursing home’s surge comes as a wave of COVID-19 hits towns across the state, including more rural communities where rates have previously remained low. As of the latest update, Burrillville had 449 positive cases, or 9 percent of the total number of people tested.

Comparatively, the statewide rate is currently 6.9 percent.

Only three Burrillville schools had reported cases among students attending in-person as of last week, with less than five students each. But Burrillville High School closed Thursday and Friday over staffing concerns and Burrillville Middle School joined the list last week, with its first case discovered Friday morning.  The School Committee will vote this week on a proposal to close all schools through January.

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