WISE COUNTY, Va. (WYMT) - Staff at the Heritage Hall Big Stone Gap facility in Wise County, Virginia sent out a letter Monday evening. The letter informed patients and their families that a third-party therapist was at the facility last week and has tested positive for COVID-19.
With existing protocols in place since March 14, all personnel entering any of their facilities had their temperature checked upon both entry and exit to and from all buildings.
They confirmed the party in question was last on site on Thursday March 19th, 2020 and when they left the facility they had a normal temperature and no symptoms of illness.
Health officials also confirm that, at this time, no American Healthcare residents nor any employees at any of their 18 facilities have been diagnosed with COVID-19. There are also no residents or employees showing any symptoms of this illness.
"Resident safety is always our top priority. We are doing everything we can to ensure we stop the spread of COVID-19 within each of our residential care communities," said Dustin Jackson, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.
These are some of the steps they are taking:
· "We are coordinating closely with all state and local health officials to take every appropriate and available step to protect both our residents and our employees.
· Effective immediately, we are monitoring all residents and staff with ever-more diligence. As an extra precaution, we have now implemented additional temperature checks and safety protocols, above and beyond health department requirements.
· We are also currently assessing all interaction records so that we can continue to closely monitor and limit further exposure with, or to, anyone who came in contact with the recently diagnosed party.
· We have already restricted all in-person social and family visitation and, unfortunately, it remains crucial that we continue to do so."
Jackson goes on to say they understand that these recent developments are likely to cause concern.
"If you have a family member in our care, we encourage you to contact us for more specific updates on the status of your loved one. As always, if circumstances change, and your loved one is suspected of having any illness, including COVID-19, we will contact you right away," said Jackson.
In the meantime they are still encouraging all family members to connect with their loved ones through Skype, Facebook Messenger, traditional phone calls, texting, and other social media formats.