A sixth resident has died of the coronavirus in an outbreak at an aged care facility in the southwestern town of Aveyron, where a Covid-19 cluster has now infected more than two-thirds of the 75 residents and 20 staff members.
The mayor of Sévérac-d'Aveyron, Edmond Gros, expressed his concern, saying he fears more residents will die.
"There will be many more deaths," Gros told Midi Libre newspaper. "Our residents are in a very fragile state of health. I think we are looking at around a dozen deaths."
The regional health authority announced the sixth death at the Gloriande de Sévérac-d'Aveyron nursing home on Monday morning.
The first cases were reported on 4 September and quickly multiplied contaminating both residents and staff.
Around 50 residents and 20 staff members have tested positive, raising fears the facility could become a new hotspot of the Covid-19 crisis.
Officials have issued an appeal for help from other retirement communities in the area to send in additional staff.
Gloriande, a sprawling retirement community in the south-western Occitanie region has faced severe staff shortages since the outbreak.
The Aveyron prefecture said last week that it had activated several levers to respond to the request for assistance, by putting the establishment in touch with voluntary health professionals from all over France.
Residents have been placed under lockdown and confined to their rooms.
Only elderly patients suffering from neurodegenerative disease have been the spared the isolation measures.