(LITITZ, Pa-LititzDailyNews.com) – Two more residents of the same skilled nursing memory unit at Brethren Village that housed a COVID-19 positive resident who died on Saturday have also passed away, presumably of COVID-19, according to a press release issued today. The two residents had been tested for the virus and were awaiting results.
Brethren Village learned today that two more residents of the skilled nursing unit tested positive for the disease, bringing the total of COVID-19 positive residents in the skilled nursing unit to five with one death, plus the two presumptive positive patients who both died. Altogether, three residents of Brethren Village have died in the outbreak.
The facility also said that two more Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) who work in the same skilled nursing unit have tested positive, the third CNA to do so. One worked as recently as April 4, the other April 1, according to Tara Ober, vice president of Communications and Resident Life for the facility.
The common practice of CNAs working in multiple health settings was reportedly a factor in the first US outbreak at a nursing home in Seattle. When asked if the CNAs who tested positive for COVID-19 also worked in another healthcare facility or home health care position, the Brethren Village representative declined to comment citing privacy of employee records.
To date, three CNA’s have tested positive as have two administrators. The reported total so far at the facility of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 is ten, with two presumptive positives. Brethren Village has 1,200 residents across all levels of care, and 550 employees.
Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced on Monday that the state Department of Health signed a contract with ECRI, an independent, nonprofit health services research organization based in suburban Philadelphia, to help with the COVID-19 response across the state, particularly in long-term care facilities. At a press briefing last Friday, Levine referred to them as acting like a “nursing home SWAT team” to assist with combating the virus.
“COVID-19 is a very serious disease and we are seeing a continuous rise in the number of cases and deaths each day,” Secretary of Health Dr. Levine said. “One of our most vulnerable populations in Pennsylvania is those in nursing home facilities. Partnering with ECRI will help us continue to provide the necessary resources to those on the frontline of the COVID-19 response in facilities across the state.”
ECRI will provide individualized infection control and prevention assistance to long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania. Staffers will be available by phone for 12 hours a day on weekdays and will coordinate with the Department Operations Center, currently providing support to those working in coronavirus response.
An email today to Brethren Village asking whether the facility has contacted ECRI for assistance did not receive a response by press time. If a response is received, this story will be updated. Update: a response was received indicating that BV has not contacted ECRI for assistance.
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