Relative of South Roanoke Nursing Home resident “satisfied” with staff precautions after 4 cases of COVID-19 confirmed

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Monday evening, South Roanoke Nursing Home operating company American Healthcare sent a message out to resident families. The message what that there were four confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the facility, one of them a resident.

The staff and resident are out of the facility. They’re being cared for elsewhere. One resident’s relative says he wasn’t very surprised when he received the message from American Healthcare.

“I was halfway expecting the call,” said Stephen Mason, the relative.

Mason’s mother is one of the residents at South Roanoke. She isn’t the one with the confirmed case, but the situation still concerns her son.

“She is fairly strong, but at 95 it’s always possible,” he said.

American Healthcare spokesperson Jennifer Eddy says South Roanoke is working with the health department to make sure the right measures are being taken.

“We have things like N-95 masks and gowns in regular use, and we’re taking temperatures every four hours,” she said, listing a few of the precautions being taken by the staff.

South Roanoke is even taking an extra step by setting up a quarantine isolation unit for residents who had contact with staff who tested positive, but there’s one thing Eddy wants that would make the situation more certain.

“We have asked the health department to help us get testing for all of our staff, as well as residents,” Eddy said. “We think this is the only way we can really have a good handle on definite steps and to get ahead of the situation.”

Testing or not, the precautions American Healthcare and South Roanoke have taken have impressed Mason.

“If anybody has gotten it under control, it would be them. I mean, they are very very good. I’ve been very satisfied with all of the care that my mother’s received.”

What concerns Eddy and American Healthcare is that the staff who tested positive likely had COVID-19 days before being tested. They were asymptomatic, passing the screenings without even knowing they carried the virus.

Now South Roanoke is taking steps like monitoring every resident interaction made by staff, so if another case is confirmed, it won’t take long to find its source.

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