7 coronavirus deaths reported at 3 Washington state nursing homes after staffers attended large wedding

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Seven residents at three Washington state nursing homes have died of coronavirus in an outbreak linked to staff who attended a large wedding last month and became infected.

The outbreaks were reported on Nov. 20 – about two weeks after the wedding in rural Ritzville attended by hundreds of people, according to reports.

The victims were elderly men with underlying medical conditions, the Grant County Health District reported Thursday.

The virus may have also killed four other residents at two of the facilities, the health district said. The cause of death in those cases is pending.

In a statement, the district said it hasn’t confirmed if staff members infected at the wedding had direct contact with the seven residents who died.

“Because staff in these facilities care for entire units, direct contact with associated patients is not known,” they said.

More than 300 people attended the Nov. 7 wedding inside an airplane hangar, the Tri-City Herald reported Thursday.

At the time, statewide coronavirus restrictions limited wedding gatherings to 30 guests or fewer, according to the paper.

On Nov. 16, health officials said at least 17 people who attended the wedding had become infected. Other attendees were urged to get tested and quarantine.

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The nursing homes reporting the deaths were identified as McKay Healthcare & Rehab Center in Soap Lake; Lake Ridge Center in Moses Lake; and Columbia Crest Center in Moses Lake.

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