A Princeton nursing home with a coronavirus outbreak says it asked for a mass test of residents and staff earlier this month, but was refused.
This happened when there was a case in a nursing home.
“After an employee test positive for the first Kovid-19 in July, our team requested local and state health officials for assistance and mass testing on and before July 7.Th, 2020, “the nursing home said in an update today.
“We were denied testing and were told, ‘At this time our outbreak guidelines do not recommend staff and residents to conduct repeat tests and the state laboratory will not be able to handle those samples.’
Now Princeton Health Care Center has more than 30 active cases and at least two deaths, with 91 residents.
Residents are being isolated with confirmed or suspected Kovid in different care areas with dedicated staff members being looked after.
Nursing home leaders responded to a telephone call by MetroNews and announced to comment further.
Mercer County Health Officer Kathleen Wids admitted in a telephone interview that the nursing home was denied a mass test.
But Wides said it was due to state policy.
“Local Health Department, we ask the state to follow. We are officers of a small health department.
“We would not have refused to help with the mass testing. We do not have the resources to do that kind of mass testing. At that time, an outbreak was defined as two people. They had a person. “
The wives described that standard as flawed.
“I’ll go out on a limb and say that I disagree with that state standard,” she said.
“If you are a nursing home and you have a person, then this is a serious situation. It is up to the state to determine when to pull the trigger for a large-scale test. I wish it had happened in a different way. It was the decision of the state, at that time. It is never a decision of the local health department. “
The request at the Princeton nursing home came after the resignation of state health officer Kathy Slimp on June 24 and before a new state health officer, Ayyan Amjad, was being nominated on July 10.
The state Department of Health and Human Resources said in a statement released today, state officials became aware of an early outbreak at the Princeton Nursing Home on June 30.
The state agency reached out, “and the nursing home confirmed that they have arranged facility-wide testing of residents and staff. The nursing home advised that they have swab kits available for testing and that LabCorp will test the samples. “
Administrators at the nursing home said in their own statements today that they tried to test in their own hands, but could not.
“Stefanie Compton wrote in a news release,” our team also called other laboratories to try to conduct a large-scale test.
“We were unable to conduct tests on our own because our area / state laboratories were backlogged and did not have the supplies they needed at the time.”
So the initial call for help with mass testing appears to have fallen between the cracks.
When the nursing home identified its second case on July 7, the DHHR said, the state has not yet begun a weekly trial. The new policy change became effective on 16 July.
A day after that, on July 17, the nursing home reported the test status of the two residents as positive, asking for more help with the test.
“On the same day, DHHR Health Command coordinated the second round of extensive testing of the facility,” according to the state agency.
By then, more than two weeks had passed since the first call for help. And 10 days had passed since the second argument.
Jim Justice has described an aggressive attitude towards the nursing home, ordered to test all nursing home residents and staff on 17 April.
He has repeatedly praised this action, calling West Virginia the leader among states.
Although West Virginia has experienced several nursing home outbreaks, such as nationwide, the overall positivity rate in nursing homes remained low — 19 percent as of last week, compared to the state’s overall 2.28 percent.
Justice spoke specifically about the Princeton Nursing Home during the briefing on Wednesday, describing the swift action.
“At Princeton Nursing Home, when we were first informed, we ran straight into the fire,” Justice said. “We tested everyone there.”
“We are going back now and retiring because we now have two people who die quickly,” he said. He quickly. Now we have come to understand that this thing is a killer. It specifically attacks our elder people. “
The Princeton Health Care Center said in its latest update that members of the West Virginia National Guard are on site to help with testing and training.
The facility has suspended on-site visits, encouraging video conferencing, phone calls and letters. Admissions continue indefinitely.
The nursing home has started the fourth total round of mass testing and is expected to be completed by Friday. Administrators said the results usually arrive within three to five days.
Another round of testing is expected next week.
The nursing home wrote, “We appreciate the support, prayer and understanding going through this process.”
There is also an outbreak of another West Virginia nursing home.
The Grant County Rehabilitation and Care Center began a second round of testing after 19 residents and eight employees were initially diagnosed with coronovirus.
Grant County Health Department Administrator Sandy Glasscock described a lag in test results. He said tests took place last Wednesday and Thursday and the results came back on Monday evening.
“We’ll have to wait,” she said on the talk line on Metronuse today. “And that makes it very difficult to stay ahead of the curve. If it is a staff member and they are out in the community, they can expose others even if they are positive. This makes it difficult to track and stop. “
– MetroNews (@VMetroNews) 30 July 2020