"We are keeping the local
The outbreak is isolated to one unit: long-term care on the third floor. There are 40 beds there, and about 20 residents have tested positive. About three workers have also tested positive, according to results announced by
The county announced 21 new cases Sunday and three more Monday, without saying how many involved
Some of the residents are weathering the illness surprisingly well.
One woman, who already had pneumonia and has chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder -- a top 10 co-morbidity with the coronavirus -- tested positive on Wednesday but has shown no symptoms as of Monday.
"They have her on medicine for the pneumonia, which she always gets at this time of the year. She has no fever. Her oxygen level is fine. She's a little bit more tired but I think it's just because she's bored," said her daughter, who asked to be anonymous so the nursing home would not retaliate against her mother.
The illness generally resolves in two weeks or less. That means her mother is about halfway through.
That's the good news. The bad news is that it could get worse. The virus spreads rapidly in tight spaces, and the beds in the rooms on the third floor are not 6 feet apart. Roommates share a bathroom. Health care workers go in and out of each room.
The nursing home did not accept any new residents who were already positive with coronavirus. The current residents also have not been allowed to leave the nursing home for more than a month. That means there is only one source of the virus: It was brought in with a worker.
Nursing homes are trying to combat more infections by taking each worker's temperature at the start of their shift and sending home anyone with a fever or respiratory symptoms. But people can be asymptomatic for days, and medical officials now believe they may be able to spread the virus during that time.
The first resident to show symptoms tested positive a week ago. On
But it was too late.
On Wednesday and Thursday, as more residents began showing symptoms, everyone was tested. The results came back Saturday: Half of them had the virus.
Family members were only called to be notified of their loved one's test results. They wanted to know more.
One family learned their father had tested negative. That was great. But was he in the same room as someone who tested positive? Had he been cared for by a worker who tested positive?
"The lack of information is very concerning," the man's daughter said. "Families have a right to know what they are doing and how many cases there are. What protocols are they using to stop the spread?"
Another daughter thought about removing her mother from the nursing home to keep her safe, because she had not tested positive. She was talked out of it by the staff, she said.
But then she learned that her mother's main health care provider was going to be "out" for "several weeks." That sounded like someone who was being quarantined. Did that mean her mom had been exposed? Her roommate has also been moved out, which could mean the roommate had the virus.
"My mom is now barely coherent or able to speak to me," she said.
She can't visit her mother and she is deeply worried about her, noting that half of the residents on the unit have the virus.
"These are very high odds," she said.
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