Coronavirus: Springfield nursing home resident dies as facility battles outbreak

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

A resident of Mercy Health Oakwood Village in Springfield has died as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak at the senior living facility, according to Clark County’s health commissioner.

The resident was a male in his 70s and died this week, according to Gracie Hemphill, a spokesperson for the Clark County Combined Health District.

The outbreak at the facility likely began with an employee, CCCHD Commissioner Charles Patterson said during his weekly update on the status of the virus in the county, however, Patterson said the district doesn’t yet have a ‘patient zero.'

“We are seeing it spread in the community and therefor and most likely since visitors are very much restricted, employees have unwittingly brought it into the facility,” Patterson said.

As of Friday, 19 residents and 15 staff members have tested positive for the virus, according to data from the CCCHD. In addition to the confirmed cases, Hemphill said on Monday 20 additional staff members are quarantining.

Patterson said Oakwood Village has been doing “tremendous work,” trying to get the outbreak under control.

“They have battled this from day one. Unfortunately, this has gotten out of hand and at this point, we are seeing multiple cases in that environment,” Patterson said.

Mercy Health’s spokesperson, Nanette Bently, confirmed the outbreak at the facility on Sunday in a statement. Bently said Oakwood Villae 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.”

Patterson said the district is also monitoring two more long-term care facility outbreaks -- one at Ohio Masonic Home and the other at Developmental Disabilities of Clark County.

As of Friday, Ohio Masonic Home had four current resident cases and four current staff cases, according to CCCHD data. Developmental Disabilities had two current resident cases and two current staff cases.

Patterson said the district “isn’t surprised that we are having outbreaks in long-term care facilities.”

“Technically is it preventable? Yes. Every outbreak is preventable. Realistically? No, unless our employees are robots,” Patterson said. “Because we know that people aren’t always following every rule and we know that even if they follow 100% of the rules, there may be some ways you could still be exposed that we don’t even know of yet.”

According to the Ohio Department of Health’s website, as of Friday afternoon, Clark County had 1,235 cases, 13 deaths and two probable deaths of the coronavirus. Champaign County had 192 cases and two deaths.

On Friday, Ohio has reported 106,557 total cases and 3,784 deaths of the coronavirus, according to the ODH. Between Thursday and Friday, 1,131 new cases and 29 new deaths were reported.

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