Staff and residents test positive for COVID-19 at an El Dorado nursing home

Arkansas News

EL DORADO, Ark. (05/13/20) — The Arkansas Healthcare Association has confirmed that staff and residents associated with the Courtyard Rehabilitation and Health Center have tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to Executive Director of A.H.A, Rachel Bunch, there are 15 residents and six staff members who have contracted the virus. It started out with one person who needed testing and further tested positive. Following, all staff and residents were tested within the facility on Wednesday.

“It’s a hard time in all healthcare settings right now especially in long term care,” Bunch said. “There are so many concerns about the virus. The numbers continue to grow.”

According to Bunch, most of the patients at the facility are asymptomatic and have been isolated from those who haven’t tested positive for the virus. There is also consistent staffing assignments between nurses, CNAs and housekeepers.

“Those residents who are positive are there together and then the residents who are negative are in the other part of the facility,” Bunch said .”We have a dedicated team with the Covid patients and a dedicated team with the patients who do not have Covid-19.”

With six staff members testing positive, the facility has hired more workers to fill various roles. They have brought in an additional full-time RN and three additional CNAs.

There have been rumors that there are positive staff members working in the facility but according to the Arkansas Healthcare Association, that’s not true. Positive staff members won’t be allowed back in the facility until they have tested negative for the virus.

“Some reports on national news of other states that have a lot more cases than Arkansas are using that practice but Arkansas facilities are not engaging in that,” Bunch said.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, there are 51 nursing homes in the state that have one or more residents or staff that have tested positive. As of Wednesday afternoon, there are a total of 316 residents and 176 staff members.

A.H.A has six member facilities in Union County including Ella Manor Assisted Living, Grace Point Healthcare, Hudson Memorial Nursing Home, Oak Ridge Nursing Home and Timberlane Health and Rehabilitation.

Currently, Bunch isn’t aware of any of these facilities having staff or residents test positive for the coronavirus. She also insisted Courtyard had plenty of personal protective equipment available for staff and the necessary resources to care for patients.

There is a nurse practitioner in the facility everyday and a medical doctor who is available on call 24/7.

Bunch couldn’t confirm if the initial person who tested positive was a staff member or resident and also couldn’t confirm when the individual was tested and where the person may have contracted the virus. However, they are working with the health department on tracing and evaluation to determine the connection.

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