Third resident of Jerusalem assisted living center dies of COVID-19
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Third resident of Jerusalem assisted living center dies of COVID-19

89-year-old woman had preexisting medical conditions; all residents of Nofim Tower facility finally being tested two weeks into outbreak there

Jerusalem's Nofim Tower sheltered living facility. (Courtesy)
Jerusalem's Nofim Tower sheltered living facility. (Courtesy)

A third resident of the Nofim Tower assisted living center in Jerusalem has died after being infected with the new coronavirus, one of three people to die of the disease on Thursday.

Hadassah Ein Karem hospital confirmed the 89-year-old woman died of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

“This is a patient with preexisting conditions who a week ago already was categorized as being in critical condition and was treated with devotion during her entire hospitalization by the department staff, which did everything possible to ease her suffering,” the hospital said in a statement.

Her death follows the deaths of an 87-year-old resident of the facility on Tuesday and, last week, an 88-year-old resident of the home, Aryeh Even.

In total, 15 residents and staff from the facility in the capital’s Kiryat Yovel neighborhood have been infected with coronavirus. According to Hebrew media reports, six of the infected are residents, six are staff, and three are caregivers.

As the news of the woman’s death broke on Thursday, Magen David Adom ambulance service personnel arrived to conduct tests on all of the facility’s residents. The tower has 153 apartments.

On Wednesday, Haaretz quoted families of the residents, who have been in isolation for the past two weeks, complaining that they had been abandoned by the Health Ministry.

“I just don’t understand the lack of responsibility and negligence of the Health Ministry,” the son of one of the residents told the paper. “We are talking about dozens of elderly people who have been in quarantine for two weeks. Certainly some of them are carriers. In a couple of days they will be let out of quarantine, but they won’t go out because they are scared. Not for themselves, but of infecting their friends.”

The outbreak at the facility is believed to have begun when a social worker who had been in contact with an infected French tourist visited her patients there before knowing that she had been infected herself.

According to the Health Ministry, as of Thursday afternoon, there are 2,666 confirmed cases in Israel. Eight people have died, 39 people are in serious condition and 68 in moderate condition.

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