Coronavirus-related deaths rise to 16 at Ridgefield assisted living facility

RIDGEFIELD — The death toll at an assisted living facility in town has risen to 16 and dozens of residents and employees there have tested positive for COVID-19, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed.

Amanda Cillo, a spokeswoman for Benchmark Senior Living, said 16 residents of Ridgefield Crossings had died as of Tuesday after contracting the coronavirus.

“This is a tragic loss for our community, and we extend our thoughts and deepest sympathies to each resident’s family and to our associates who view our residents as family,” Cillo said.

According to the company, 35 additional people have tested positive for the disease, including 17 employees.

Ridgefield’s Health Director has only confirmed 13 deaths of Ridgefield Crossings residents. One death has been reported at Laurel Ridge, a nursing home that shares a campus with Ridgefield Crossings, and two others were attributed to other addresses.

Briggs said 126 people in Ridgefield have tested positive for the illness. Among them was the town’s first selectman of more than two decades, Rudy Marconi, who said he is recovering from the disease at home.

On March 18, an 88-year-old man who had been living at the facility off Route 7 became the first Connecticut resident to die after contracting COVID-19.

Both nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the state have seen hundreds of deaths since the first one was reported.

Data reported by the governor’s office Monday, the most recent numbers available, show roughly half of the state’s 215 nursing homes alone have reported at least one positive case of COVID-19.

A total of 1,522 residents have tested positive and 212 have died.