OHIO VALLEY — Updated numbers released by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) on Wednesday evening provide additional details on the outbreaks at local long-term care facilities.
In Meigs County, ODH reported 20 resident and 19 staff cases at Overbrook Center, including eight new resident cases and five new staff cases during the reporting week (Wednesday-Tuesday).
Additionally, Meigs County Health Department (MCHD) Public Information Officer Brody Davis stated that 12 cases on Wednesday (10 resident and 2 staff) and 4 cases on Thursday (all residents) were not included in that figure. This brings the case totals at Overbrook since mid-April to 34 residents and 21 staff members.
“Unfortunately, we have experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases among residents this week. Despite following all infection control precautions and CDC recommendations, the virus has spread within the facility. We have completed testing of all residents and all employees this week. Despite positive or negative results, we are handling each resident in the same manner, utilizing isolation precautions and providing extensive monitoring and TLC,” stated Overbrook Rehabilitation Center Administrator Stephanie Cleland.
“Managing this virus has been challenging. Our staff have done a tremendous job continuing to care for our residents in such stressful times. Overbrook is blessed to have such a wonderful team,” added Cleland’s statement, which was also posted to the center’s Facebook page on Thursday evening. “We are fortunate to have a strong relationship with the MCHD and will continue to work with them closely to mitigate future spread.”
Also in Meigs County, ODH reported two new staff cases at Arbors of Pomeroy for the reporting week, bringing the facility total to three.
The report lists the first staff case at Arbors at Gallipolis for the recent reporting week.
A representative for both Arbors of Gallipolis and Pomeroy did respond to Ohio Valley Publishing (OVP) on the matter but declined comment.
In Gallia County, the ODH report lists a total of 27 resident and 18 total staff cases at Abbyshire Place, with nine resident and five staff cases in the reporting week.
Attempts to reach representatives for Abbyshire were unsuccessful as of press time.
ODH also reported one resident case at Holzer Senior Care Center in Gallia County, something that Holzer Health System says is inaccurate.
“In response to the Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 numbers released on 8/26/20, a positive COVID-19 case was reported to be at Holzer Senior Care Center. However, to date, Holzer Senior Care Center does not have any confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19. The positive case that was reported was inaccurate and we are working with our local health department to rectify the misinformation,” according to a statement released on behalf of Holzer Health System to OVP.
“We want to ensure to our communities that Holzer Health System has put into place every precaution possible. At all Holzer locations, including Holzer Senior Care Center, we remain vigilant in our efforts to provide a safe environment for our residents, employees and visitors,” the statement continued.
“The health of those in our congregate nursing home/assisted living facilities is very important to us,” shared Dr. Michael Canady, MBA, CPE, FACS, FAAPL, CEO, Holzer Health System, in the prepared statement. “From the beginning of the pandemic, Holzer has instituted every precaution possible to guarantee our residents and staff are healthy and safe.”
Additionally, the statement reported, “Among other Infection Control processes, Holzer Senior Care Center utilizes the following: COVID-19 test prior to admission for new residents; utilize a private wing for new admissions through a 14-day period; monitor temperature, cough, respiratory symptoms, and nausea/vomiting for all residents daily; complete COVID-19 tests for all staff every two weeks; screen staff members prior to each shift, including temperature checks; staff and residents wear masks throughout the facility; and monitor bed availability to ensure adequate area for isolation purposes.
“Holzer Senior Care Center received a deficiency-free Infection Control Survey through the Ohio Department of Health on Thursday, August 27, 2020. Holzer Health System appreciates all the well wishes and support we have received from our communities, family members, and residents. We appreciate all the dedication and exemplary efforts from our staff. We have great passion in caring for our communities, and we will continue to put forth every effort in our fight against COVID-19.”
The Gallipolis Developmental Center (GDC) also had one staff case reported, bringing the facility total to three since mid-April when the long-term care facility reporting data began.
In regards to GDC, Tamara Hartley, media and communications director with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), stated via email, the last staff member in Gallipolis who tested positive was on Aug. 19 and that staff member has since returned to work.
Hartley stated staff who are positive are asked to follow doctor’s orders at home and the facility quarantines the area they worked in for 14 days from the last day they were in that area.
In regards to a question on testing at the facility, Hartley added, “We would only test if we observed signs and symptoms which we monitor in individuals two times daily at minimum and screen staff every day when they arrive.”
DODD provides a daily report to ODH (found on its website) for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 at its facilities. Thursday’s report states there are 182 total staff at GDC, there have been three positive tests, 372 negative tests, all three staff members with positive cases have returned to work. There are 58 total residents at GDC, with 119 negative tests from residents and no positive cases regarding residents.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing. Sarah Hawley is managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.
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