Dec 04, 2020 11:05 PM

2 COVID clusters in NW Kansas long-term care homes

Posted Dec 04, 2020 11:05 PM

By CRISTINA JANNEY
Hays Post

The state has reported two COVID-19 clusters in long-term care facilities in Northwest Kansas. 

The state reported  25 cases linked to Locust Grove Village in La Crosse and 18 cases linked to Solomon Valley Manor in Stockton.

Solomon Valley reported via Facebook on Friday it had three active cases among employees with 19 employees recovered from COVID. The facility has had one resident death, has six residents with active cases and 17 residents who have recovered.

The facility is testing weekly, and had zero deficiencies on its Targeted Infection Control Survey that was conducted Nov. 24 and 25.

Amanda Atkisson, administrator, was unavailable for further comment.

Locust Grove Administrator Charlotte Rathke said the facility has had staff and resident recoveries and is on the"downside of the issue."

The Rush County infection rate peaked with 19 cases on Nov. 23.

Rathke said the number of cases is constantly changing as people come out of quarantine. The facility had no new resident cases this week. 

The facility has had two resident deaths. Both had other underlying health issues, Rathke said.

The facility is testing regularly, using PPE, quarantining sick residents and serving meals in residents' rooms in attempts to mitigate the spread of the illness.

Visitors have been restricted from the facility for some time. 

"It has been very difficult for the residents to not interact with their families," Rathke said.

"It is hard on the resident and the families that they are not able to come. We are trying to do other types of visitations like Facetimes and window visits, but it's just not the same as being in person with your loved one."

Staff quarantines have meant employees have had to work longer hours and non-certified staff are doing support work in various departments. The facility has also brought in temporary staff. 

"Yes, people are tired and exhausted from not working the normal routine, but we have been able to meet all of the residents' needs," Rathke said. 

She encouraged people to do all they could to control COVID spread in the community.

"What we do out in our community certainly impacts our elders," Rathke said. "People come into the building, so it takes all of us to be successful in guiding through this. We thank you for your support and prayers as we move through it."