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The extreme strategies that saved some nursing homes from Covid-19

An elderly woman with a mask on looking out of her nursing home window.
Reuters/Brian Snyder
None of these measures were meant to be long-term.
  • Katherine Ellen Foley
By Katherine Ellen Foley

Health and science reporter


When Tyson Belanger, the director of Shady Oaks Assisted Living, heard about cases of a mysterious respiratory illness that had entirely shut down Wuhan, China, it reminded him of his days in the US Marine Corps. 

“I was deployed five times as a Marine,” says Belanger. “And this felt like a sixth deployment.” 

By early March, it was clear that screening visitors wouldn’t be enough to keep the virus out of his facility in Bristol, Connecticut. So Belanger decided he would have to keep everyone at Shady Oaks in. 

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