Mass COVID-19 testing underway at ABQ retirement community following 2 deaths | KOB 4

Mass COVID-19 testing underway at ABQ retirement community following 2 deaths

Megan Abundis
Updated: April 03, 2020 10:34 PM
Created: April 03, 2020 08:57 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Two people who lived at a retirement community in Albuquerque died from COVID-19, state health officials announced Friday.

The men were in their 80s and 90s, and both had underlying health conditions, according to the state. 

In addition to the deaths, 19 residents and three staff members at La Vida Llena tested positive for COVID-19

The state Health Department and Presbyterian is now providing COVID-19 tests to anyone who lives or works at La Vida Llena.

"About 425 residents and 205 staff members that's quite a bit of people, that' a lot of people," said Mark Goodman, corporate director of community development for La Vida Llena. "You could imagine the anxiety levels as the COVID-19 have been increasing that anxiety level has been mounted so having the testing here today is a real plus."

People who live in the community are concerned with the spread of the virus. 

"We are worried for each other," Bill Miller said. "The average age here is 85. This is a population very vulnerable to the coronavirus."

Miller said he welcomes the testing, and whatever else it takes to contain the spread of COVID-19.

"We're kept well-informed, taking all the precautions," he said. "Everything is closed down, dining rooms closed down-- eating in our room, staying inside our apartments."

Visitation in the community is limited, which Goodman recognizes is hard for residents. He's encouraging residents to stay connected through other means.

"Write letters, write letters to your loved ones," Goodman said. "You can hold, it's something tangible and read it over and over again-- really feel their presence."

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