MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The number of cases of coronavirus at a Morgantown nursing home has increased.
According to Sundale Nursing Home, there are 21 residents and eight staff members who have tested positive for the disease. 71 residents’ tests came back negative, while the same can be said for 47 staff members.
There is one pending test each for residents and employees. Two samples have not been processed because of labeling issues, according to Dr. Carl Shrader. The source of the outbreak remains undetermined.
According to Shrader, three patients declined to be tested, and the nursing home is contacting their families to gauge the interest in starting treatment for the patients, who are not symptomatic. Shrader said the nursing home has placed orders for the necessary medication to treat patients.
16 of the residents with coronavirus are on site at the nursing home, while the remaining five residents are in local hospitals; three are at Ruby Memorial Hospital, and the other two are at Mon General Hospital, Shrader said. Two of the patients are in an ICU setting, while the remainder of them are probably in a condition where they could be taken back to the facility once it is able to accept them.
Shrader said some employees have encountered issues with refusal of services like public transportation and taxis, while one employee, who was wearing her Sundale Nursing Home badge, was refused service at a gas station.
Other services have also been hard to come by for some workers.
“There’s some people who can’t get child care because they don’t want their children in their homes,” said Shrader. “We got a call yesterday from a pharmacy wanting to know, they saw one of our employees in with their shirt on and wanted to know, could we tell them which other employees had been in their business. And, that’s hard, where, you know, the employees feel somewhat isolated from their communities.”
Shrader added that there is a simple explanation for why the concern has presented itself in this way in the community.
“The reason people are worried about us is because we’re testing, and we know it’s here. There may be one of you who are sitting here interviewing me now that could be carrying COVID, and we just don’t know it. And, that’s the worrisome thing. So, do they pose a risk? Probably no more than anyone else that’s in the community. Yes, they’ve had confirmed exposure, but I think probably the one’s that are the most concerning is that if they don’t know that they’re exposed or that they’re positive,” said Shrader.
The process to contact family members to keep them informed on the situation has started, and the nursing home is offering an online option to communicate with them on a mass scale, according to Shrader.
When asked about ventilators, Shrader said the nursing home does not have that capability, and another nursing home official stated that ventilators are not allowed in nursing homes in the state. The nursing home is contacting families about their wishes for further care at a hospital, should that be necessary.
In terms of supplies, Shrader said there have not been issues on that front, and local businesses have helped out the facility during this time. Restaurants and individuals have also provided food to the nursing home.
You can watch the full press conference below: