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Assisted living outbreak claims two

Assisted living outbreak claims two

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A COVID-19 outbreak at a local assisted living facility has resulted in a dozen cases and two deaths while the Central Virginia Regional Jail has had two positive cases of its own.

During last week’s Madison County Board of Supervisors meeting, emergency services coordinator John Sherer announced that the recent outbreak at Aroda-based Countryside Assisted Living had resulted in 12 positive cases, with one additional test pending. He said the outbreak had resulted in two deaths.

The outbreak at Countryside is one of three outbreak currently ongoing in the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District. Last week, health director Dr. Wade Kartchner said there were also outbreaks at Brookside Rehab and Nursing in Fauquier County and Culpeper Health and Rehab in Culpeper County. He said the district was actively working with each facility to respond to the outbreaks. The response includes several measures from the Virginia Department of Health Long Term Care Taskforce including testing staff and residents for COVID-19 on a regular basis and more often during an outbreak; limiting points of entry to the facility; restricting residents to their rooms and enforcing social distancing; allowing residents to leave only for medically necessary purposes; designating a location to cohort residents with suspected or confirmed cases; and following environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures consistently and correctly.

Meanwhile, CVRJ had its first positive test last week. An inmate tested positive and was quarantined before being released for time served. Superintendent Frank Dyer said the inmate was within a week of their scheduled release date.

Following the positive test, 30 other inmates were tested along with three staff members who had been considered exposed. One inmate’s test came back positive. That inmate has been placed in a negative pressure room in the jail’s medical area. The remaining inmates believed to have been exposed have been quarantined and will remain quarantined until there is a 14-day stretch with no positive test results and no symptoms consistent with the illness.

Both positive cases were from the same housing area. Inmates coming into the jail are placed in an intake area for 14 days before being released into the jail population. Dyer said he isn’t sure how the first inmate was exposed to the virus.

Kartchner said once a case is introduced into a congregate setting like a workplace or jail, it’s difficult to control the spread. When compounded with the medical conditions those in assisted living facilities often have, spread is even more problematic. He encouraged people to remember the three w’s—wash your hand often, watch your distance from others and wear a mask when you can’t.

Kartchner also reiterated the importance of quarantining while awaiting test results. On Friday, he issued a newsflash at the beginning of his weekly update to remind those who have been tested to stay at home until their results come back. He said there are few things more frustrating for the health department than to follow up on a positive lab result and find out the person is at work or school while the test is pending.

According to recent VDH data, Madison County has had 91 cases, six hospitalizations and two deaths attributed to COVID-19. The Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District, which includes Madison along with Culpeper, Fauquier, Orange and Rappahannock counties, has had 2,285 cases, 150 hospitalizations and 30 deaths. The neighboring Thomas Jefferson Health District, which includes Albermarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson, has had 2,475 cases, 168 hospitalizations and 50 deaths.

Statewide, there have been 120,594 cases (115,334 confirmed and 5,260 probable), 9,569 hospitalizations (9,504 confirmed and 65 probable) and 2,580 deaths (2,447 confirmed and 133 probable).

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