Two nursing homes in Luzerne County have had significant outbreaks of COVID-19 in recent weeks, according to data from the state’s Department of Health.
The Wesley Village nursing home, which had no cases of coronavirus among residents or employees as of November 10, reported that 71 residents and 32 employees had contracted the disease as of November 25, according to data from the State. Jenkins’ Twp. the facility also experienced five COVID-related deaths during those two weeks.
The Saint Luke Village pavilion in Hazleton saw COVID cases among residents climb from zero from November 4 to 72 as of November 25. Employee cases increased from 13 to 39 over the same period. No COVID-related deaths have been reported there.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that the resident population ranged between 168 and 173 at the Wesley Village Nursing Home and between 85 and 91 at the St. Luke Village Lodge between 1 and 1. Nov. 15, which was the most recent resident census data available.
A representative from the Saint Luke Village lodge did not immediately respond to an email request.
Abbie Evans, director of marketing and advertising for United Methodist Homes, which owns and operates the Wesley Village, said in an email that employees have been “very successful in preventing COVID-19 from entering our facilities” until November 6, which marked the start of the epidemic.
“Despite all the infection control and prevention measures that have led to our success throughout this pandemic, COVID-19 has entered our facility. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have and continue to follow all infection control guidelines and recommendations set out by (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention… and the Department of Health, ”Evans said.
Evans said staff are working closely with the Department of Health and the Regional Collaborative Health Response Program, which offers rapid response teams to visit facilities in the event of an outbreak. and help in various fields. She said officials had requested assistance from the collaborative health program and received help from a team “as available.”
“Within our organization we have a dedicated team that is working on response measures and implementing mitigation strategies in accordance with all recommendations from the Department of Health and CMS, which includes – but without s ” limit it – the complete and appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times; screening for COVID-19 by staff and residents with increased frequency; suspension of in-person visits except for end-of-life or compassionate care visits; and cohort strategies that involve separating, to the best of our ability, COVID-19 positive from COVID-19 negative residents. In addition, all residents are on increased watch for symptoms of COVID-19, ”Evans said.
Evans said she was happy to report that 39 residents at the facility had recovered from the disease on Monday.
We do not know whether or not a rapid response team was deployed to the pavilion in the village of Saint-Luc.
State Department of Health press secretary Nate Wardle said there was “certainly additional resources that might be available for homes with larger outbreaks, but the ministry has not discussed the measures. taken in specific facilities, unless public health is necessary. and the safety of residents. “
Health officials have said that the elderly and those with chronic health conditions are at much higher risk of serious illness and death associated with COVID-19. They also said the number of cases in the general public is a key indicator of the spread of the virus to nursing homes because nursing home workers are exposed in the community.
Luzerne County has seen a record number of new cases of COVID-19 in the past three weeks.