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More than 130 people test positive for COVID-19 at Hazard nursing home

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 8:06 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2020 at 3:44 PM EST
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UPDATE 12/4/20

Friday, Kentucky River District confirms that 96 residents, and 42 staff members have tested positive.

12/2/20

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Nearly nine months into the coronavirus pandemic, Hazard Health and Rehabilitation Center is seeing its first cases of COVID-19.

“The nursing home is one of the hardest environments to keep the virus out of and once the virus gets in there then it spread prolifically in many instances,” said Scott Lockard, the Kentucky River District Public Health Director.

As of Wednesday, Lockard says 88 residents and 29 staff members tested positive for the virus. All of the cases are active. Many of the residents have a wide range of symptoms.

”That’s what we see in the regular population is it’s just a full range where some it’s just like a mild cold. Some might not even show symptoms where others have a very negative reaction,” said Lockard.

Two of the residents are in the hospital on ventilators.

“Staff can unknowingly pick it up, be asymptomatic not have any symptoms not show any fever or anything and still potentially bring it in.”

The nursing home had several staff members test positive earlier in the year, but they failed the screening process at the door and were sent home. The virus never entered the facility.

”What they were doing was working and again we may never know how it got into the facility this time,” said Lockard.

Lockard says the nursing home did everything it could to keep the virus out of the facility and no one is to blame for the outbreak.

“Without completely locking the facility down and putting a bubble around every patient there’s just no way we can protect everyone, unfortunately,” said Lockard.

The nursing home is containing the virus the best they can. Lockard says they are placing all the positive patients in a COVID-19 wing.

“They use intense infection control procedures they use full PPE, they’re donning and doffing masks, gowns gloves,” said Lockard.

WYMT has reached out to Hazard Health and Rehabilitation Center for comment but has not heard back.

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