Four Corners Health Center says two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing to five the total number staff members who have tested positive since March.
Sava Senior Care, which owns Four Corners Health Center, previously said there were five positive cases, but it later clarified there are two positive cases and three individuals who have recovered, for a total of five cases cumulatively.
The senior care facility said no residents had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease associated with the novel coronavirus, as of Wednesday. Cases among staff are not categorized as an outbreak by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Two or more residents must test positive for the disease within 14 days for the state to define the cases as an outbreak.
“Staff was exposed to family members who were positive,” said Annaliese Impink, spokeswoman for Sava Senior Care.
San Juan Basin Public Health said the cases have been reported sporadically over time, with the first cases reported in March. The disease investigation remained in process as of Wednesday, said Claire Ninde, San Juan Basin Public Health spokeswoman.
Four Corners Health Center tested residents and staff this week with test kits and personal protective equipment provided by SJBPH. Results from the state laboratory have been typically coming back within four business days, Ninde said.
Meredith Mallot, whose sister is a resident at Four Corners, said it has been difficult to learn about new cases from outside the center, without being able to visit her sister in-person.
“It makes my heart sick,” Mallot said. “I’m worried about her.”
Nursing homes and assisted care facilities around the nation have been on high alert during the pandemic because residents often have conditions that make them vulnerable to more severe cases of COVID-19. Like other facilities, Four Corners has implemented restrictions and public health guidelines to prevent the novel coronavirus’ transmission.
The center continues with its infection control efforts as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDPHE and SJBPH, Impink said.
It is also continuing with restricted visitation. It is screening all essential health care personnel each visit and staff before beginning work. Staff continue to follow safe hand hygiene and wear proper personal protective equipment to limit the risk of exposure, Impink said.
Once test results return, SJBPH and Four Corners will determine what steps they should take.
If there are no cases among residents, there is ongoing community monitoring and no specific actions beyond that, Ninde said. For one or more cases, the facility and SJBPH must follow specific CDPHE protocol.
“This means taking heightened precautions and performing testing of staff and residents,” Ninde said.
They would ensure residents and staff do proper isolation and quarantine. The public health agency also makes sure the facility identifies any close contacts before it does testing.