Nine nuns die from COVID-19 outbreak in Adrian

The Adrian Dominican Sisters say they took every precaution, but the virus breached their community.
The Adrian Dominican Sisters say they took every precaution, but the virus breached their community.
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 4:20 PM EST
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ADRIAN, Mich. (WTVG) - The Adrian Dominican Sisters say that despite precautions, an outbreak of COVID-19 breached their community and has now caused the death of nine of their order.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, a Campus COVID-19 Task Force met daily and established a strict set of guidelines to maintain safety. After more than nine months of no cases of COVID-19 among resident Sisters, the first COVID-19 positive test for a resident was December 20, 2020. Since then, a total of 46 Sisters among the 217 residents have tested positive. Of those, 12 are active cases, 25 are recovering, and nine are deceased.

Among the 363 co-workers, a total of 58 have tested positive: 16 are active cases and 42 have recovered. The first co-worker case of COVID-19 was July 6, 2020.

The administration tells us there are dedicated floors for COVID-19 patients, quarantines within the living communities, and weekly testing of all residents and co-workers to mitigate further spread of the virus.

Residents on campus received the Moderna vaccination on Friday, January 15, along with more than 50 critical front-line co-workers, thanks to the Lenawee County Health Department, ProMedica Hickman Hospital, and Hudson Pharmacy.

Additional co-workers are being vaccinated through the Lenawee County Health Department vaccination clinics.

Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, tells 13abc isolation has been difficult, as none of the sisters have gathered for their regular events or services since March.

Through their community’s grief, Sister Siemen says the power of prayer has been strong and has brought their organization closer together in spirit.

“Be very cautious, wear a mask, social distance,” pleads Sister Siemen to the public. “You can be protecting others.”

We also spoke with a representative from the Lenawee County Health Department, who confirms the organization has taken the virus very seriously.

At this time, the department is encouraging the sisters to continue following precautions within their facility, and representatives say the number of active cases within their community is going down.

As far as further vaccinations, the Health Dept. says no one with an active case will be vaccinated, or receive a second dose as long as the infection is present.

Due to privacy laws, we have not yet confirmed if the sisters who are now deceased were able to receive the vaccine prior to their passing, or if an active infection prevented them from getting the shot.

Stick with 13abc for the latest updates on this developing story.

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