A nursing home in Mercer County is reporting an alarming uptick in confirmed coronavirus cases.
On Friday, the Princeton Health Care Center reported that it had five confirmed cases among staff since March and five cases among residents. That was 10 total at the time.
But “there are sixteen other individuals (residents and employees combined) that we are monitoring due to Covid-like symptoms,” the nursing home stated in a regular update on Friday.
Today, the nursing home described 30 confirmed cases since March.
So that’s 20 new confirmed cases since Friday.
Nursing home outbreaks have been a major source of covid 19 cases across the country, with Gov. Jim Justice placing particular emphasis on testing in West Virginia nursing homes.
The surge of positive cases in Princeton came after a third round of mass testing last week in which 279 residents and employees were tested.
The nursing home said all current residents who are symptomatic and/or confirmed cases are being isolated to specific covid-19 designated care areas.
“We anticipate and are preparing for weekly mass testing to continue until such time it is felt that it is no longer needed,” stated Stefanie Compton, administrator at the nursing home in Princeton.
“We have requested additional assistance from local and state health officials and also requested assistance of the National Guard for testing purposes.”
Gov. Jim Justice, during a briefing today, said he is directing that support to the nursing home.
“Absolutely, the National Guard at my order, is running to the fire. We’ll do everything we can to suppress this situation and suppress it immediately,” the governor said.
The nursing home said it would continue to suspend visitations until further notice while encouraging window visits, the use of Skype video conferencing, phone calls and written communication.
Admissions and re-admissions are also on hold until further notice.
“We have relayed this decision to state health officials who agree that this is the best plan of action at this time,” Compton stated. “We do not take this decision or the current events lightly and feel that this is in the best interest of all involved.”
The state put an early emphasis on nursing home safety, cutting off visitation for several weeks in the spring. Visitation was allowed again, with strict limitations, if facilities met specific guidelines.