(03/25/2020)
While the New York metro area is overwhelmed with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, with increasing testing, WV's numbers are rising, with many cases not detected.

Sundale Nursing Home in Morgantown is reporting that they have four residents and three staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19, with an additional two residents in the hospital who are unconfirmed but suspected of having the virus.

This is according to medical director Dr. Carl Shrader who, in a press conference, said that a regional epidemiologist, with the state, was sent in to investigate the origins of the virus but was unable to do so because it’s tough to say how the virus managed to infiltrate the nursing home.

“It’s really hard to drill down to see how this entered our building because it presents so differently to people, to various people,” Shrader said. “Some people may not have symptoms at all, some people get very sick and require ventilatory support in an ICU setting so it’s really tough to sort out where it came from, how it got into the building, who may have brought it in and we’ll perhaps never know that information I suspect.”

Shrader said all the residents and the staff who were in the wing where the virus was detected have been tested. To perform additional tests and help mitigate the situation the West Virginia National Guard will be returning to the facility to assist the staff.

“We’re in the process of reallocating our resources, so to speak,” Schrader said. “We’re moving all the negative patients or people who have no confirmed positives and we’re creating a wing in the facility where we will concentrate the COVID patients.”

Shrader said they are not looking to keep positive testing patients at the hospital so as to not overwhelm the hospitals any more than necessary. He said patients returning to Sundale will be put in an isolation setting and the nursing home will make sure they are cared for.

In addition, he said that they are bringing in a cleaning service to detox the rooms where residents with confirmed cases were staying.

Currently, Shrader said, they are doing vitals on all 91 residents every four hours, trying to see if they’re showing symptoms. Sundale said they are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and looking to screen up to 50 more staff who are at most at risk of testing positive for the virus.

Sundale said they have received a lot of much-needed support from the governor’s office, the Monongalia County Health Department, Mon General, and WVU Medicine to help them through this crisis.

In response to the outbreak of coronavirus at Sundale Nursing Home, the West Virginia Health Care Association’s CEO Marty Wright issued the following statement:

“We were saddened to learn that multiple residents and staff in a West Virginia nursing home have now tested positive for the coronavirus. We know the virus has a disproportionate impact on our elderly, and our primary focus remains stopping the spread of the virus within this facility and others. Facilities statewide remain vigilant in taking preventative measures to combat the virus and we are grateful to all the local and state officials who have remained in regular contact with facilities around the state to offer assistance."


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