Coronavirus: Long-term care facility cases in Clark County drop to nearly zero

Peggy Derr visits with her husband, John, a patient at Villa of Springfield Wednesday. Villa started allowing visitation by appointments this week. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Peggy Derr visits with her husband, John, a patient at Villa of Springfield Wednesday. Villa started allowing visitation by appointments this week. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Long-term care facility COVID-19 cases in Clark County fell to nearly zero this week — a positive sign the pandemic is finally easing up on those most vulnerable.

Dayspring of Miami Valley reported one active resident case of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, the latest weekly reporting date for long-term care facilities, according to data from the Clark County Combined Health District. The county does not have any other long-term care facility with an active resident case of COVID-19.

It’s the first time the county has seen long-term care facility numbers fall that low since the pandemic began a year ago.

Clark County isn’t the county that has seen its long-term care numbers drop off. Cases have fallen across the state due to the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, which rolled out in late December in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine said previously.

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The CDC-sponsored program partnered long-term care facilities across the country with big pharmacy chains, like CVS and Walgreens, to administer on-site vaccinations of residents and staff.

According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care program, as of Monday, 353,341 total doses of vaccine had been administered to Ohio long-term care staff and residents. Of those total doses, 122,242 people had received both doses.

The CDC program does not offer data on a county-by-county level, but according to data from the Ohio Department of Health, of Clark County’s 26,123 total vaccines given 68.22.% have gone to those ages 80 and above, as of Monday.

Due to the success of the program keeping the virus out of facilities, DeWine announced last week that long-term care facilities could restart in-person visits as long as a facility has had no new cases in the last 14 days, the facility is not conducting outbreak testing and the county’s positivity rate at less than 10%.

Villa Springfield Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center restarted its indoor, in-person visits last week for the first time since March 2020, Michelle Hemphill, marketing director for Villa said.

“We started this week with appointments,’' Hemphill said last week. “We let them come for about a half-hour and we let them meet in our central lounge. Everybody checks in and makes sure there are no signs or symptoms of COVID with the visitors. It’s been very nice,” Hemphill said.

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Peggy Derr visited her husband, John, on Wednesday. Derr said John is only temporarily at Villa recovering from surgery, but she’s happy she’s had the chance to see him.

“Even when he was in the hospital, I could only see him for 30 minutes a day, so this is a nice change. It’s also a lot more homey,” Derr said.

Long-term care facilities have been the hardest hit by the pandemic. According to data from the CCCHD, 23 facilities in the county have reported at least one resident or staff case of the virus since the first long-term care facility outbreak was reported in April.

The county’s first long-term care facility outbreak was at Southbrook Care Center in Springfield. The outbreak resulted in the county’s first confirmed COVID-19 death, a woman in her 90′s, on April 24.

After Southbrook, several other facilities began having outbreaks through the end of 2020. At one point in November, total long-term care facility case numbers approached nearly 300 before cases started to level out after vaccinations started in December.

Clark County had 12,411 cases and 335 total deaths of the coronavirus as of Monday, according to the ODH.


Facts & Figures:

68.22: Percentage of Clark County’s vaccinations that have been given to those 80 years and older

23: Long-term care facilities in Clark County that have reported at least one case of COVID-19 since the pandemic began last year

1: Case of COVID-19 currently in all of Clark County’s long-term care facilities

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