By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team
Local long-term care facilities have been in consultation with staff at the Garrett County Health Department over the past few months to enhance the measures they have in place to minimize the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak within their facilities.
“Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home was being proactive when they tested all the staff and residents of their facility for coronavirus,” said Dr. Jennifer Corder, Deputy Health Officer for Garrett and Allegany Counties. “They did the right thing in testing at their facility even though they did not have anyone who had symptoms of COVID-19.”
Testing was done at the facility last week in conjunction with the state initiative to test all long-term facilities in the state. Results confirmed that four residents and three staff tested positive for the coronavirus.
As soon as the nursing home was notified of the positive cases, residents who tested positive were placed in strict isolation. Staff who tested positive were placed off duty and advised to isolate at home. The local health departments in the counties where the staff live are doing contact tracing.
“The staff at Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home is doing an excellent job in providing care and safety during this health crisis,” said Corder. “The fact that 7 persons tested positive out of 200 tests does not surprise me. The virus we are dealing with is highly contagious in close settings and nobody on earth has prior immunity. Each of these individuals had no symptoms of COVID-19, which is also not surprising. The proactive approach taken by Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home is to be commended and will enable them to intervene much sooner, inhibiting further spread.”
“We are doing everything we can to ensure we stop the spread of COVID-19 within our facility, including staying in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps,” said Elizabeth Goldsborough, administrator of the facility.
“I would also like to thank the staff for the wonderful job they have been doing,” said Goldsborough. “Every day our staff does their part to aggressively prevent and mitigate the spread as we deliver compassionate care under challenging circumstances.”
At the end of April, Governor Hogan announced universal testing of all residents and staff at all Maryland nursing homes, regardless of whether they are symptomatic.
The first long-term care facilities to be given supplies to test their residents and staff were those with outbreaks or patients with symptoms. As testing at those facilities was completed, the state provided test kits to facilities where residents had no symptoms.
Testing at other long-term care facilities in Garrett County is expected to occur this week.