Signature HealthCare at Summit Manor, in Columbia, has 71 residents and about as many staffers.
A nursing home in Columbia is the latest hotspot for covid-19 among long-term-care facilities in Kentucky, making Adair County a hotspot of public concern.
At Summit Manor, 29 residents and four employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, said the Lake Cumberland District Health Department. There could be more . . . because not all tests results were available Friday morning, department Director Shawn Crabtree said.
“Crabtree had announced six cases among residents Thursday, but the facility received additional test results later that day,” Bill Estep reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. “One woman from the nursing home died last week as a result of the disease, and several have been hospitalized.”
As Adair County’s only nursing home, “Many people in the community have ties to the facility through people staying there or working there,” Estep notes. “Mike Keltner, the county emergency manager, said his grandmother is in the facility.”
“It makes it rough,” Keltner said at a morning news conference with Crabtree and County Judge-Executive Gale Cowan.
The conference was videostreamed on Facebook
and got a relatively large audience, because many people knew residents had been tested, and word of the outbreak (a new total reflecting 23 new cases) was posted on a mobile application of The Weather Channel
|The Weather Channel broke the news.
The Adair County Community Voice
, one of the county’s two weekly newspapers, posted the app’s notice on its Facebook page, saying, “At least officials are keeping the Weather Channel up to date. Apologies to our community. I assure you we have been making calls all day to get this information. #TooManySecrets“
Questioned by ACCV Editor-Publisher Sharon Burton at the Friday news conference, Crabtree said he didn’t answer her inquiries because he wanted members of all 71 Summit Manor residents to be notified.
The formal name of the nursing home is Signature HealthCare at Summit Manor, reflecting its ownership by a company that “has more than 100 long-term-care facilities in 10 states” and is “deferring to local officials to release information,” Estep reports.
“Crabtree said Summit Manor was able to obtain tests for all residents and employees after an initial positive case last week,” and “had been following guidance on social distancing and protecting residents and staff before the outbreak. Family members had not been allowed into the facility since about March 10, so Crabtree said the coronavirus may have been carried into the facility by an employee or health worker from outside.”
“That’s the way this disease works,” he said. “You can spread it before you know you have it.”
When the test results came back, Estep reports, “Local, district and state health officials held a conference call with Summit Manor and Signature HealthCare officials to work out a response and make sure the facility would have enough staff to care for residents, Crabtree said.” The Community Voice reports him saying that one patient was sent to a hospital.
The Voice reports
, “Crabtree read a statement from Summit Manor that said that they are forming three separate units within Summit Manor: one unit for patients who are covid-19-positive, one unit for patients whose test results aren’t back and another for those who have tested negative. The unit for positive covid-19 patients will have staff that only work in that wing and they will have a barrier from the rest of the facility. Supplies, food and staff who work on that unit will not be near other wings. In addition, an infection control physician and nurse will be monitoring this unit.”
Estep reports, “He said other long-term care facilities need to consider issues such as setting up dedicated coronavirus areas and making sure they have room for people coming back from hospitals,” and it’s critical to prepare.
“By the time somebody tests positive,” Crabtree said, “you may already be in the middle of a very difficult situation.”