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UPDATED: Patrick County nursing home claims 55 of county's 106 cases

UPDATED: Patrick County nursing home claims 55 of county's 106 cases

From the Martinsville-region COVID-19/coronavirus daily update from state, nation and world: July 30 series
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Patrick County case counts

COVID-19 case trends in Patrick County.

The number of cases of COVID-19 at the Blue Ridge Therapy Connection has reached at least 55.

Stephanie Shelton, regional director of business development for Hill Valley Healthcare, forwarded the release prepared by Aaron Lichtman of The Rytes Company on Wednesday night that confirmed the new numbers in the outbreak.

The release did not give the date of the first positive diagnosis at Blue Ridge Therapy Connection, but according to information from a conversation with Shelton on Monday, it would have been at least July 19 or before. Facility-wide testing by the National Guard already had been scheduled for July 20.

“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 states.

Once all results came in, it was discovered that 42 residents and 13 staff members tested positive.

The facility has 160 residents.

Two of the residents who had tested positive for COVID-19 have died – without specifically listing the cause of death as COVID-19 — and one resident “has been moved to the recovered list,” the release states.

“Many who tested positive showed and still show, no symptoms,” the release states. Those 55 cases make more than half of Patrick County’s total case count, which as of Thursday morning has reached 106.

According to the email chain, the press release was prepared and sent to Hill Valley Healthcare, the company that owns Blue Ridge Therapy Connection, its neighboring facility, The Landmark Connection, an assisted living facility; and a third long-term care facility in Pulaski County.

According to the Rytes Company’s website, “Rytes is a dedicated, full-service corporate compliance firm” that offers the services of “compliance,” “spokesperson,” and “crisis management” and “audits” for “effective navigation for effective healthcare.”

The release in its entirety follows:

“Having infected more than 4.4 million Americans, COVID can and does move silently from community to community in ways that we do not yet fully understand. 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.

“As many are aware from our prior statements, Blue Ridge Therapy had long ago put into place a battery of precautions designed by the CDC and the 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. While we were waiting for the test kits and the Guard to come in 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.

“Since that time, we have observed other residents with symptoms. The test results show that 13 staff members tested positive. 42 residents likewise tested positive. 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.

“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. 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.”

Holly Kozelsky is a writer for the Martinsville Bulletin; contact her at 276-638-8801 ext. 243.

Holly Kozelsky is a writer for the Martinsville Bulletin; contact her at 276-638-8801 ext. 243.

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Mva

The coronavirus outbreak in Patrick County continues to grow, as five new cases were identified Tuesday by the Virginia Department of Health.

That brings total numbers of cases on Tuesday to 104 in Patrick County, 458 in Henry County, 155 in Martinsville and 146 in Franklin County.

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