Forty-two Blue Ridge Therapy residents tested positive for the coronavirus in a round of recent tests, according to a release from the facility Wednesday.
Additionally, 13 staff members tested positive, according to a July 29 statement from the facility to the community.
“Many who tested positive showed, and still show, no symptoms. One resident has been moved to the recovered list. Two more residents are expected to be moved to the recovered list following the receipt of test results. Sadly, two COVID positive residents have passed. Federal law does not permit us to confirm cause of death,” the release stated.
While waiting for the test kits and the National Guard to administer the tests, “we had our first suspected case. That person was sent to the hospital for evaluation and treatment, in part to help ensure that person’s health safety and welfare, and in part, to ensure the safety of all our other residents,” the release stated. “Since that time, we have observed other residents with symptoms. “
The release also added that the facility “long ago put into place a battery of precautions designed by the” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health “to slow the spread of the virus, including limiting facility access and the range of movement within the facility.
“Those measures have been painful for residents, staff and family members who celebrate community and family contact. Following trends in Henry and Carroll Counties and the rapid increase in cases throughout the United States, Blue Ridge Therapy Connection tested all residents and staff for the COVID–19 virus,” the release stated.
Preventative and precautionary efforts initially implemented are ongoing, company officials have said, and weekly testing will continue.
There are an estimated 195 residents receiving care at the combined facilities in Stuart and more than 200 employees, company officials have said.
Having infected more than 4.4 million Americans, COVID-19 “can and does move silently from community to community in ways that we do not yet fully understand,” the release stated. “It is suspected that the virus often comes into a skilled facility from a person who exhibits no signs or symptoms of the disease.
“In every state and country that this virulent virus has touched, residents of skilled nursing communities and other senior housing and care facilities have been disproportionately affected. Since multiple studies have shown no correlation between the Facility Star Rating or other quality of care factors and the trajectory of the virus, it is believed that nursing home residents may be more susceptible to the virus as a result of advanced age and complex medical conditions,” it added.
“We thank the heroes who at risk to themselves and their families work tirelessly to serve the needs of our residents. We mourn with those who have suffered loss and pray for a world which is besieged with an incomprehensible plague,” the release stated.
“We celebrate with those who have recovered and look forward to opening our doors wide for our friends and families to come freely through again. Thank you also to those who helped to ensure that we have a strong supply of PPE, who have sent love and expressed support and to the State and Federal authorities for their guidance and directives. And as always, thank you our wonderful residents for permitting us to have meaningful purpose, to nurture, love, to provide care and companionship to each of you,” the release stated.