Rosewood outbreak numbers climb


TAYLOR COUNTY—Unfortunately, the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department (GTCHD) reported that the case numbers in the Rosewood outbreak continued to rise this week.

“This weekend we had a large increase in the number of patients associated with the current outbreak at Rosewood nursing home,” said GTCHD Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn. “We are now at 28 individuals, and the National Guard has been requested to come and help with decontamination efforts.”

The outbreak was initially conveyed to the public on August 5, when the county’s 57th case of Coronavirus disease was reported to have been a patient at the facility. Then on Friday, additional cases were reported, bringing the total to five patients associated with the outbreak.

Over the weekend, the county has recorded the additional positive results from both residents and staff, adding the county’s 61st through 81st cases.

“Of those 33 are still active, 47 have recovered, and we still only have one death,” Thorn revealed.

Dr. David Bender, County Health Officer explained the rapid spread at the facility, reporting that while waiting for the test results to come back from individuals believed to have been infected, additional patients were tested with quick tests, and yielded positive results.

“The decision was made to quick test multiple residents who had been in close proximity, and that is how we ended up with a large number, quickly,” he explained.

He further noted that many of the individuals who have returned positive test results have been asymptomatic.

“Some of those folks will develop symptoms as time goes one, but we are worried about this because this population is at a higher risk of complications from the disease,” Bender said.

All of the positive patients have been isolated in the facility and the staffers have been excused from work until the time they no longer test positive for the virus.

Grafton-Taylor County Health Department will be working closely with Rosewood Genesis, overseeing their mitigation plan, which includes the creation of a separate COVID-19 wing at the facility for resident(s) isolation.

“The most important part of all of this is keeping COVID positive residents separated from COVID negative residents and ensuring that staff that care for those positive folks are not caring for those who are virus free,” Bender voiced. “So far, it has been working well.”

He said that although the system at the facility is now taxed, administrators and staff are working diligently to mitigate the further spread among residents and employees.

“Otherwise, as COVID goes in the county, we are seeing a slowing here,” Bender revealed. “What we are worried about is the potential spread of those employees who are coming into the leaving the facility. But everyone is working hard to make sure that this does not become a bigger community spread issue.”

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