No new COVID cases at LawCo facility
Residential care residents recovering, final tests of staff to come Thursday
Following the revelation that seven residents at a Lawrence County long-term residential care facility had tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus), tests of the staff to date have come up negative, relieving anxiety about the largest concentrated outbreak of the pandemic in the bi-county area to date.
Janella Spencer, Lawrence County Health Department director, reported that by midday on Tuesday, tests had come back on 93 employees of the county facility caring for 61 residents. Staff had already tested all the residents after a male resident tested positive on May 2. Six more residents also tested positive in the subsequent sweep.
Mercy Hospital-Aurora staff stepped in to test all the employees, as the Lawrence County Health Department lacked the tests and personal protective equipment for testing that extensively. Spencer said staff numbers grew from the initial 75 to over 100, and stragglers came in. Some staff also went to have tests made on their own. The facility’s director of nursing tested the late-comers with tests from the health department. Spencer asked Roger Brock, administrator of the Barry County Health Department, to test the final eight on Tuesday and Wednesday with his rapid results system. Spencer expected to have all the results back by Thursday morning.
Spencer was pleased to report all the staff tests had come back negative to date. The first patient, she noted, was now testing negative as well. None of the patients exhibited the COVID-19 sickness symptoms requiring hospitalization.
“This has taken a lot of teamwork,” Spencer said. “I feel blessed that it’s come out the way it has and that people haven’t really been sick. It’s just a guessing game as to where it came from. We’ll probably never know.”