Coronavirus: 21 cases linked to Springfield nursing home, 20 additional employees quarantining

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

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This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Mercy Health Oakwood Village in Springfield has 21 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in both staff and residents, according to the Clark County Combined Health District.

Gracie Hemphill, a spokesperson for the CCCHD, said 14 residents and seven staff members have tested positive for the virus as of Monday morning. In addition to the 21 confirmed cases, 20 additional staff members are currently quarantining, Hemphill said.

“Staff on quarantine are either symptomatic or a close contact of a known positive,” Hemphill said. “CCCHD is working closely with Oakwood to manage and monitor the situation.”

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On Sunday, Mercy Health spokesperson Nanette Bently, said in a statement Oakwood Village has followed all guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Health “to minimize exposure to other residents and associates.”

Questions about a potential coronavirus outbreak at Oakwood Village began to swirl on Sunday after a photo of an email from the Ohio Department of Health was posted to social media.

In the photo of the email, the ODH stated they had received an “urgent request for RNs and LPNs to support COVID-19 response at Oakwood Village Senior Living in Springfield.”

“Staff are needed as soon as soon possible for both shifts (7 a.m. - 7 p.m., 7 p.m. - 7 a.m.) for an indefinite period of time,” the email said.

Bently neither confirmed nor denied the email.

“To ensure we have the required staff on hand to care for residents, ODH is helping us source for open positions. To protect resident privacy, we do not release further information beyond the information we provide to the state and other regulatory agencies.”

The Springfield News-Sun reached out to Bently with additional questions on Monday about the outbreak and was told Mercy Health had no further comment.

Melanie Amato, press secretary for the ODH, said the email was sent out by the Congregate Care Unified Response Team’s (CCURT) Bridge Team, which was created to assist nursing facilities after testing has been completed within a facility and that facility identifies a staffing or resource need associated with COVID-19. Members of the CCURT Bridge Team include staff from the ODH and the Ohio Department of Medicaid, according to ODH’s website.

Amato said the Bridge Team does not reach out to facilities on their own and instead only responds “to requests for assistance and works with facilities in this regard.”

“When a nursing facility or local organization supporting that facility identifies a potential emergency that requires support from CCURT, it is that person’s responsibility to contact the Bridge Team Coordinator to launch the Bridge Team process,” ODH’s website says.

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Hemphill said the district knew of the email and knew that ODH was planning to help Oakwood Village fill staffing needs while staff members will be quarantining.

“Oakwood reached out to ODH to help fill their open positions,” Hemphill said.

Oakwood Village is not the only senior living facility in the county to experience an outbreak of the coronavirus. Early on in the pandemic, Southbrook Care Center, a long-term and post-acute care facility in Springfield, struggled as the virus tore through the facility.

The care center has recorded 29 cumulative resident cases, nine cumulative staff cases and two resident deaths, as of Aug. 5 according to the ODH’s website. Long-term care facility numbers are updated every Wednesday by the ODH.

Aside of Oakwood Village, Ohio Masonic Home nursing home has the second-highest number of current residents with confirmed cases of the coronavirus. As of Aug. 5, the Masonic Home had three resident cases and five staff cases, bringing the total number of current cases at the home to eight, according to the ODH’s website.

As of Monday afternoon, Clark County has 1,158 cases, 12 deaths and two probable deaths, of the coronavirus according to the ODH’s website. Champaign County has 178 cases and two deaths.

The ODH reported 101,731 total cases, and 3,673 deaths, of the coronavirus on Monday. The state topped 100,000 cases on Sunday as 879 new cases pushed the total to 100,848. On Monday, 883 new cases and four new deaths were reported.

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