Boone County nursing home hit with outbreak of COVID-19 cases

A Boone County nursing home has been hit with a COVID-19 outbreak that has resulted in at least four resident deaths and at least 37 positive cases among residents and employees.

The Boone County Health Department said Tuesday that the outbreak occurred at Signature Healthcare at Parkwood, 1001 N. Grant St., in Lebanon.

“A strike team from the Indiana Department of Health has been notified and is currently working with Parkwood to provide support, testing, and mitigation efforts,” the department said in a written statement. “The Boone County Health Department will continue to monitor the situation.”

Signature Healthcare at Parkwood has a capacity of 138 residents, but a census report from the Indiana State Department of Health showed the facility had just 73 residents as of Jan. 1.

Prior to the most recent outbreak, the facility had experienced 34 resident COVID-19 cases, five resident deaths and 23 staff cases during the pandemic, as of Oct. 7, according to the state health department.

The nursing home is owned by Jackson County Schneck Memorial Hospital of Seymour.

Nursing homes and long-term-care facilities have been struck particularly hard by the coronavirus. As of Oct. 7, Indiana LTC facilities had reported 8,922 cases and 2,113 deaths among residents and 4,749 cases and 12 deaths among staff, accounting for 60% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths and 10.5% of cases.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, which represents more than 14,000 facilities across the country that treat more than 5 million residents annually, released a report Monday that said the United States is beginning to see a third spike of new COVID cases in nursing homes due to the increased community spread among the general population.

Weekly nursing home cases began rising in late September for the first time in seven weeks after new cases dropped significantly throughout August and early September. The increase correlated with a significant rise in cases in the general population.

“The No. 1 factor in keeping COVID out of our nursing homes, so we can protect our vulnerable population is reducing the level of the virus in the surrounding community,” Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, said in written remarks. “While the support we have received from Congress, the administration and other public health agencies has helped our facilities fight this battle, we could still see another wave of COVID cases caused by the sheer volume of rising cases in communities across the U.S. given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of this virus.”

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