Coronavirus: COVID-19 positive Springfield nursing home resident dies

Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said that a Clark County nursing home resident who tested positive for COVID-19 has died. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
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Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said that a Clark County nursing home resident who tested positive for COVID-19 has died. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

A Clark County nursing home resident who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week has died, according to the Clark County Combined Health District.

The Southbrook Care Center resident, a female in her 90’s, died on Friday morning, Clark County Combined Health District Health Commissioner Charlie Patterson, said in a live-stream press conference on Friday afternoon.

According to a previous statement from Southbrook, the resident was sent to the hospital and tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately the news came in (Friday) morning that the resident who had been hospitalized and tested positive for COVID-19 passed away,” Patterson said. “That is a blow to the family, to the friends, and the caregivers at Southbrook.”

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The resident was the first Clark County nursing home patient to test positive.

Patterson said as a result of the resident’s positive coronavirus test 55, “people, residents and workers,” were tested at Southbrook this week.

“That wasn’t every resident and every worker, only those in close proximity or had specific touchpoints with this resident that was positive,” Patterson said.

Results of the tests will began coming into the district on Friday afternoon, Patterson said, and will continue into Saturday.

“We will continue to work closely with Southbrook as we receive those test results and we will continue to investigate whether we need to expand our investigation and if we need to do additional testing on residents,” Patterson said.

Southbrook, located in Springfield, is both a long-term and post-acute care faculty. The care center offers 24-hour nursing care, “with a full range of rehabilitative service,” according to Southbrook’s website.

The Springfield News-Sun reached out to Southbrook and is awaiting a response.

According to a statement posted on Southbrook’s website earlier this week, the care center said it “has been extremely open with all agencies involved.”

“Despite following all the guidelines and protocols, we had a resident who showed some symptoms of the disease. The resident was sent to the hospital and then tested positive for the coronavirus,” the statement said. “We were just informed that resident has unfortunately passed away. At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with the family. We wish to express our sincerest condolences.”

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Southbrook’s statement goes on to say that Clark County, “has been extremely fortunate that the spread of the coronavirus has so far been very minimal compared to many other counties in the state.”

“If everyone continues to follow the guidelines regarding hygiene and social distancing that will continue,” the statement said. “But despite all those efforts, the reality is that many more people will still become infected. The reality is that all residents in all nursing homes are vulnerable.”

Clark County has one probable coronavirus death in addition to the Southbrook resident, Patterson said.

A probable death is identified when a person has not been lab tested for the coronavirus, but they meet one of the following criteria: a death certificate lists coronavirus as the cause of death or autopsy findings are consistent with pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome without an identifiable cause, Patterson said.

“A physician signs the death certificate and puts COVID as either the primary cause of death, or a contributing case of death,” Patterson said. “That automatically, at the state health department, is a probable death. No tests were actually done in this case.”

The victim of the probable death, a male in his 30s, died at the end of March, Patterson said, and the district only found out about it from the Ohio Department of Health this week.

“The death actually happened in an emergency room in another county,” Patterson said. “The death certificate was signed and certified in that county.”

Clark County has 32 confirmed cases, one death and one probable death, of the coronavirus as of Saturday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s website.

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