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Coronavirus has contributed to 11 deaths at Jeanne Jugan Residence in Delaware, but Little Sisters report signs of improvement

Jeanne Jugan residence in Newark. (Dialog photo/Don Blake)

As the nation and much of the world wait for a drop in the harm and disruption of the novel coronavirus, the sisters, staff and residents of Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark are dealing with the devastating impact of the disease while also helping some residents recover.

Sister Constance Veit, communications director for Little Sisters of the Poor, has been on scene at the residence since the outbreak at the end of March.

She was disappointed to report this weekend that 11 residents have died since the outset of the pandemic, all of whom also suffered with underlying illnesses, but she says officials at the residence are happy to report signs of improvement.

“We have had 11 resident deaths related to Covid-19, but none for more than two days now, so we feel we may have turned a corner,” Sister Constance wrote in an email on Easter Sunday. “I was going around to wish the residents happy Easter and found a few of them who have been sick looking quite good.”

Sisters Constance said the residence continues to receive many donations of all kinds from people in the community.

“And for these we are so very grateful. I think we are OK for everything right now. Christiana hospital has been truly wonderful to us. We want to thank everyone in the local community for being so good to us and our residents.

“Today, on Easter Sunday, as I reflect on the loss of … residents, I realize that faith in the resurrection of Jesus is the only thing that can make sense out of this situation. Because of the resurrection we know that Jesus is still alive and walking at our side. Through our faith in the resurrection we believe that those who have died are in an unimaginably better place, no matter how good our earthly life has been.

“That is not to diminish the grief of those who have lost loved ones to this virus, but hopefully our faith in heaven is a consolation for those who have lost loved ones,” Sister Constance wrote.

More than 60 people live at the non-profit continuing care retirement community run by the Little Sisters, including 40 residents in nursing units.

The first resident died on March 29.