ELKHART — Half the residents at an Elkhart nursing home are presumed positive for COVID-19, and another local nursing home has reported its first COVID-19 death.
At Greenleaf Health Campus, 36 of 71 residents have either tested positive or are presumed positive, according to Trilogy Health Services, a Louisville, Kentucky-based company that operates the facility.
Additionally, 11 of 93 staff members at the facility are presumed positive.
That makes Greenleaf the second hardest hit Trilogy facility across Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.
Trilogy also operates Waterford Crossing in Goshen. None of the staff or 144 residents at the facility are presumed positive.
“Despite many providers’ best efforts, including stringent infection control measures and screening protocols, the virus, which can be transmitted by asymptomatic carriers, continues to find its way into facilities that are home to the country’s most vulnerable population,” Trilogy said in a statement.
Greenleaf and other Trilogy facilities have taken steps such as restricting visitors, canceling group activities, taking the temperatures of residents and staff multiple times per day, and having staff wear personal protective equipment.
“We take these precautions extremely seriously,” said Leigh Ann Barney, president and CEO of Trilogy Health Services. “The health and well-being of our residents and employees has been, and continues to be, our top priority. It’s heartbreaking that despite all of our proactive measures, COVID-19 still found a way into Greenleaf Health Campus. While we grieve with those who have lost loved ones, we will continue to relentlessly pursue our mission of caring for and protecting those who remain in our care.”
Trilogy did not say whether any Greenleaf residents have died from the virus.
“For those Greenleaf Health Campus family members who have lost a loved one to COVID-19, Trilogy Health Services is offering free spiritual counseling services through Marketplace Ministries,” the statement said.
One death at Hubbard Hill
Hubbard Hill said Tuesday that one resident died from the virus on Monday.
“For a staff that has worked so tirelessly, that’s like losing a family member to them,” spokesperson Barb Kauffman said.
Whether the deceased had been included in the total of seven deaths in the county by Tuesday was unclear. The nursing home would not share additional information about the person who died.
A total of 14 people at Hubbard Hill have tested positive for COVID-19, including eight residents and six staff members. Hubbard Hill said 73 residents and 186 staff members tested negative. About 100 residents have yet to be tested.
In mid-April, Hubbard Hill reported that eight residents and two staff members had tested positive, but that the virus was contained at the Living Wisdom Center for Dementia Care. In the nearly two weeks that have passed since then, no additional residents have tested positive for the virus, and the staff members who tested positive worked at the Living Wisdom Center, indicating that the disease has not spread to the rest of the facility.
Kauffman said the nursing home has been able to contain the disease because of its quick response. Before anyone was diagnosed, Hubbard Hill had turned a household at the Living Wisdom Center into a quarantine unit so infected residents could be moved there immediately.
“As soon as we got positive results for our residents, they were put into the quarantine unit that we already had established in the Living Wisdom Center,” she said. “The first diagnosis was on Easter, and within seven days, we had it contained.”
The nursing home’s largest population with 100 residents is the assisted living group. They will be tested Wednesday and Thursday, which will complete the testing of the staff and residents. Staff will be tested again routinely, since they leave the facility after work and are therefore more likely to be infected.
Kauffman said one piece of good news is that infected staff members have begun to recover.
“People do recover, and that’s a hopeful statement we want to make to people. Just because you get a diagnosis, that’s not this grave thing,” she said.
No residents have recovered yet, according to Kauffman.
The Indiana State Department of Health is now requiring long-term care facilities to inform relatives of residents about how their facilities are handling the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of residents who have been tested positive, and the number of residents who have died due to the virus.