Residents at Tunkhannock nursing home test positive for COVID-19

The administrator at The Gardens at Tunkhannock nursing home confirmed the home has a “small” outbreak of residents infected with COVID-19.

The home at 30 Virginia Drive notified residents’ families that the first case was reported Oct. 22, according to a copy of a letter to the families obtained by The Press Examiner.

Administrator Kameron Rager on Monday said the number has grown since then. He declined to provide an exact count.

However, Wyoming County EMA Director Gene Dziak noted to County Commissioners Tuesday morning, that a spike, largely attributed to the Gardens, would show up in Tuesday's filing with the State Department of Health.

On that day, the county showed 12 new COVID-19 positive cases from the day before for 126 total. The DOH daily report on long-term care facilities for Wyoming County also revealed they had seen 13 cases among residents and one among employees

The notice to families says the home is following all state and federal safety precautions, including frequent testing of residents and staff.

Residents who tested positive for the virus are being housed separately. The facility has halted all gatherings of residents for meals and activities and in-person visits.

As of Monday, Wyoming County reported a total of 114 cases, eight of them probable, an increase from 104 confirmed and seven suspected cases that were reported on Sunday.

Rager said this is the first time the home has had any COVID-19 cases. All residents who tested positive do not have any symptoms.

“We are doing what we need to do, but somehow it slipped in,” he said.

The letter in full reads:

Hello residents and families:

On Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, a facility resident was found to have a positive COVID-19 test result. As required by guidance from the Department of Health and other regulatory agencies, the facility immediately moved back to a red status.

Currently we are baseline testing all residents and staff as well as stopped all cohorting of residents for activities, communal dining and visitation. Residents are currently restricted to their respective units.

Our Covid Communication Line is open to update you about the COVID-19 status in the facility. The number is 570-435-7800.

  • For residents, this information will also be posted in the facility.

Some of the mitigation actions being taken to prevent further spread are the implementation of separate areas for those residents diagnosed positive for COVID-19, residents with COVID-19 symptoms, and residents with no symptoms and a negative COVID-19 diagnosis as per guidance being provided by the Department of Health. We continuously monitor residents for signs and symptoms and will contact you if your loved one is suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19. In addition to these precautions put in place, we are providing on-going training to all employees on infectious disease control measures, we have a supply of PPE, we are screening and taking temperatures on EVERY person coming in and out of the facility, and are strictly adhering to guidance from local, state and federal agencies.

We understand that you are concerned about your loved one, but it is crucial that we restrict visitation to reduce the spread of this virus. We also understand that seeing family members is incredibly important to our residents. Family members are encouraged to connect with their loved ones through video chat, calling, texting, or other social media.

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