All residents and staff at a Fluvanna County long-term care facility now have been tested for the novel coronavirus as health agencies battle the outbreak, officials said Thursday.
On Monday, the Thomas Jefferson Health District confirmed the number of COVID-19 cases in Fluvanna had grown from 17 to 62 over the weekend due largely to an outbreak at the Envoy at the Village, a long-term care facility in Fork Union. The number of cases has since grown to 68, according to updated data from the health district.
According to a Thursday news release from Fluvanna County, the Envoy is coordinating efforts with TJHD, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, the University of Virginia, the Northwest Regional Healthcare Coalition and Fluvanna County Emergency Management to take care of patients, share equipment and trace contact with the virus, among other efforts.
“We are working hard with many community partners to prevent further spread of COVID-19 throughout this facility and our entire health district, including Fluvanna County,” TJHD Director Dr. Denise Bonds said in the release. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 is spreading throughout our communities, so it is important that people follow our recommendations for staying home as much as possible to avoid getting sick.”
According to the release, arrangements have been made with transport agency Delta Response Team to transport any residents who become symptomatic and need additional medical care.
The health district and UVa coordinated testing for all residents and staff at the Envoy at the Village, including those who were not showing symptoms at the time of testing, according to the release.
“Testing all staff and residents was important for TJHD to understand the spread of COVID-19 within the facility and to minimize risk to those who do not have COVID-19,” the release reads.
Kathryn Goodman, a spokeswoman for TJHD, said that to protect privacy, the state health department is not sharing how many tests were conducted, how many individuals at Envoy tested positive and whether any deaths had occurred at the facility.
“VDH is required by the Code of Virginia to keep the identity of reported cases anonymous unless the State Health Commissioner makes an exception to meet a public health need,” Goodman said. “Given the relatively small number of COVID-19 deaths per locality, releasing this information could lead easily to individuals being identified and, thus, deny them the confidentiality afforded them by Virginia law.”
She reiterated the need for safety practices — namely, staying at home, social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing a cloth face covering when making necessary trips — to help slow the spread of COVID-19.