Coronavirus: 10 long-term care facilities in Clark County have active cases

Several nursing homes in Clark County are battling cases of the coronavirus in residents or staff as cases of the virus are spiking in senior living facilities across the county.

There are 10 long-term care facilities in Clark County with at least one current resident or staff with a confirmed case of the virus, according to data from the Ohio Department of Health. There are 25 resident cases and 32 current staff cases across the 10 facilities.

Since April 15, Clark County has seen four long-term care facility deaths, according to the ODH’s website.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Clark County had 1,213 cases, 12 deaths and two probable deaths, of the coronavirus, according to the ODH’s website.

According to the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, which represents more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country, cases of the coronavirus significantly increased last month after having dropped throughout the month of June.

Between May 31 and June 21, the AMHC/NCAL confirmed 28,545 cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes nationwide. Between June 21 and July 19, 27,990 cases were confirmed.

Cases of the coronavirus within nursing homes are not new to Clark County. Early on in the pandemic, Southbrook Care Center, a long-term and post-acute care facility in Springfield, struggled as the virus tore through the facility. The care center was one of the first major outbreaks of the virus in the county.

The care center recorded 29 cumulative resident cases, nine cumulative staff cases and two resident deaths, as of Wednesday.

Gracie Hemphill, a spokesperson for the Clark County Combined Health District, said Wednesday there are currently no active cases associated with Southbrook.

The largest current long-term care facility outbreak in the county is at Mercy Health Oakwood Village in Springfield. The senior living facility has 18 residents and 16 staff members that have tested positive for the virus as of Wednesday afternoon, according to data from the Ohio Department of Health, bringing the total number of current cases linked to the facility to 34.

In a statement on Sunday, Mercy Health spokesperson Nanette Bently said Oakwood Village has followed all guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ODH “to minimize exposure to other residents and associates.”

The Springfield News-Sun reached out to Bently multiple times with additional questions on Monday and Wednesday about the outbreak and was told Mercy Health had no further comment on the Oakwood Village outbreak.

Hemphill said Oakwood Village has been “very proactive throughout the pandemic even prior to there being positive cases at the facility.”

It’s unclear whether or not all residents and staff at Oakwood Village have been tested for the coronavirus as a result of the outbreak. Hemphill said approximately 500 staff and residents that are associated with the facility are tested “on a regular basis.”

Aside from Oakwood, there are no other major nursing home outbreaks ongoing in the county, Hemphill said. However, the CCCHD is monitoring a number of other nursing homes.

“There are a number of nursing homes in the county that have positive cases,” Hemphill said. “CCCHD is working with all the facilities to monitor the situations as needed.”

Ohio Masonic Home nursing home has the second-highest number of current residents with confirmed cases of the coronavirus. As of Wednesday, the Masonic Home had three resident cases and seven staff cases, bringing the total number of current cases at the home to 10, according to the ODH’s website.

Anthony Berardi, president of the Springfield Masonic Community, said cases at the Masonic Home increased after ”voluntary testing of all skilled nursing and assisted living residents.”

“We have a specified COVID unit and dedicated staff to work it which allows us to keep the internal exposure to a minimum,” Berardi said. “From the beginning of the pandemic, we have instituted protocols far above the CDC recommendations to help ensure the safety of not only our residents but the staff and their loved ones.”

One of those instituted protocols includes limiting staff on property to only those necessary. Visits from families have also been suspended.

“The Springfield Masonic Community has taken a multi-pronged approach to the control of exposure while keeping the residents as connected to their families and friends as possible,” Berardi said. “We will continue to look for more ways to support our residents and staff while keeping them safe.”

The ODH reported 104,248 total cases, and 3,734 deaths, of the coronavirus on Wednesday. On Wednesday, 1,400 new cases and 26 new deaths were reported.

34: Current cases of the coronavirus connected to Mercy Health Oakwood Village

10: Current cases of the coronavirus connected to Ohio Masonic Home

38: Cumulative cases connected to Southbrook Care Center

4: Clark County deaths connected to long-term care facilities

Source: Ohio Department of Health

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