Health Care

8 nuns die of COVID-19 at Milwaukee retirement home in one week

Eight residents of a Milwaukee retirement home for nuns have died of COVID-19, School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province announced.

Provincial leader Debra Maria Sciano said the first died last week, with four dying just this Monday, according to The Associated Press.

“Even though they’re older and most of the sisters that did go to God are in their late 80s, 90s … we didn’t expect them to go so, so quickly,” she told the AP. “So it was just very difficult for us.”

Any sisters who’ve tested positive have been isolated, with meals brought to them in their rooms, Sciano said, although she declined to say how many have tested positive for the virus in total. A similar outbreak was reported in July, where 13 nuns at a convent in the Detroit area died. At Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Greenfield, Wis., at least six have died, according to the AP.

Local officials have been in contact with the retirement home since November, Linda Wickstrom, a spokesperson for the Waukesha County Department of Health & Human Services, told the AP. Wickstrom added that the School Sisters of Notre Dame has been disinfecting surfaces that people frequently touch and wearing masks.

“Given the extreme contagiousness of this virus, it is exceedingly important for congregate settings to practice basic protocols to stop the spread of the disease,” she said.

The deaths recorded at the facility so far are Sisters Rose M. Feess, Mary Elva Wiesner, Dorothy MacIntyre, Mary Alexius Portz, Cynthia Borman, Joan Emily Kaul, Lillia Langreck and Michael Marie Laux, according to the home. Sciano said all of the sisters had worked as educators.

“We believe that each of these sisters, and and all the sisters, really, they’ve made a difference in this world,” she told the AP. “I just think it’s important that people know that, and that they were committed up until the end of their lives.” 

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 deaths nuns

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