Officials: Most who contracted COVID-19 at nursing home are recovered

CADIZ — Harrison County officials said Tuesday that the majority of COVID-19 positive cases associated with the Meadows of Cadiz nursing home outbreak are now considered recovered.

The county reported its second coronavirus-related death Monday afternoon. The health department announced that an 87-year-old county resident had succumbed to the illness.

Garen Rhome, administrator of the health department, said the individual was associated with the nursing facility outbreak. Rhome said the nursing facility resident was hospitalized at the time of their death.

“They were hospitalized at the time (of the individual’s death), they did not pass away at the Meadows,” he said.

The county saw a rise in its cases earlier this month after the nursing facility in Cadiz reported an outbreak in which dozens of people — both staff members and residents — tested positive for the virus. In the past few weeks, most of the individuals who tested positive have since recovered from the illness.

Rhome said a total of 32 positive cases have come from the facility this month, 19 residents and 13 employees.

“Twenty-seven of those 32 individuals count on the Harrison County tally,” he said. “The other five are staff members that reside in other counties, Belmont and Jefferson counties.”

The majority of the facility’s cases have completed isolation protocols and are now considered recovered from the virus, he said.

“That is to say that they don’t live without some lingering health issues, but they’ve reached the point in which we can discontinue their isolation period. They should no longer be contagious, they should not be able to infect anyone else,” he said.

Rhome said that some virus recovered individuals may still experience lingering symptoms associated with the virus such as a cough, but they are considered recovered according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The county has had 62 confirmed cases since the pandemic arrived in March, 55 of which are presumed recovered and two are deceased. As of Tuesday, the county has five active cases. Three of the active cases remain hospitalized, Rhome said.

“Two of the three hospitalizations are not associated with the Meadows’ outbreak,” he said.

Rhome said the county is hopeful that the nursing faciltiy’s outbreak is now under control.

“We’ve worked closely with the nursing staff and administration there and they’ve done a really great job of protecting their clients, their residents and their staff,” he said. “Things do appear to be under control there.”

Meanwhile, Belmont County Deputy Health Director Robert Sproul reported that results are coming in from Saturday’s pop-up COVID testing site in Barnesville. Belmont County has added one new case as a result of that testing for a total of 736 positive cases since March and 676 recoveries, with 30 active cases in isolation at home and five hospitalized.

Sproul said there have been two other positive results among the 88 people who were tested Saturday, but they are not Belmont County residents. He said there may be more results in the next day or so.

Also, he said he was notified that many Belmont County residents were tested Monday at an Ohio County Health Department site at The Highlands. Sproul could not say when results of those tests would be received.

The Ohio National Guard will hold another free pop-up testing event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday across from Bellaire High School, and at the same time Oct. 3 at Ohio University Eastern.


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