4th resident at long-term care facility in Henrico dies from COVID-19

4th resident at long-term care facility in Henrico dies from COVID-19
Health officials said two patients in Henrico have died due to coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to nine deaths. (Source: NBC12)

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A fourth resident at Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Henrico’s west end has died from COVID-19.

“We also sadly report that one resident diagnosed with COVID-19 passed away during the past 24 hours; in total, the virus has claimed the lives of four Canterbury residents,” the center’s administrator said in a release Thursday.

Earlier Thursday afternoon during a briefing, Richmond & Henrico Health Director Dr. Danny Avula said the fourth resident who died was in his 70s and passed away at the facility.

Over the past 12 days, 17 residents and six workers at have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the facility’s Medical Director James Wright.

Two patients continue to receive care at the hospital, while 11 patients are being treated onsite in an isolated unit with dedicated nursing and certified nursing assistant staff.

Dr. Avula said at least 16 residents are being monitored for symptoms but have not been tested at this time.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 at the facility was diagnosed Wed., March 18.

A third death was reported Wednesday after officials said two elderly residents of the Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center died on Tuesday of the virus. The three were among those receiving treatment at a hospital. Officials said the first death was a woman in her 80s, the second was a man in his 60s and the third was a man in his 70s.

Dr. Avula said on Tues., March 24, the Virginia Department of Health conducted an onsite visit to the facility in response outbreak.

“Canterbury staff designated the Tuckahoe Unit, which has 3 wings, as cohorted space for patients with COVID-19,” the report states. “One win is dedicated to known and suspected COVID-19 cases, another is the step down unit and the third is an “unaffected but potentially exposed” wing. Staff were designated/cohorted to each wing and were not working elsewhere in the facility. Each wing has separate doors that close and each room has doors that close. We found enhanced cleaning efforts with UV light, and a contract company performing cleaning of the area. We observed a very high level of cleaning during our visit.”

Read the full inspection summary report below:

“The safety and health of Canterbury residents and staff is our primary concern. We are working directly with local and state health departments and taking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protocols to help contain further spread of the virus,” said Administrator Jeremiah Davis.

More than a week ago, the facility worked with health officials to implement measures to control transmission, including establishing a dedicated ward for residents with symptoms.

As an additional measure, the facility retained an industrial cleaning service to provide full and ongoing decontamination of the facility.

“This includes both daily deep cleaning and the incorporation of six hydroxyl generators, which create airborne hydroxyl radicals that treat pathogens in both the air and on surfaces,” said Medical Director James Wright.

The center is monitoring all residents for symptoms along with daily employee screenings. Employees with respiratory symptoms and fever are prohibited from entering the facility.

“The health department is continuing to collaborate with the facility to reduce risk of transmission, conduct contact investigation, and to implement control measures,” a release said.

“While our thoughts, efforts and prayers are focused on our residents and the families of those who have passed, we also want to that those nurses, doctors, therapists, aides, housekeepers, dietary staff and maintenance teams that are working tirelessly to care for our elders. Their brave professionalism and dedication to the people in our care is a testament to the love and respect we all share for our residents,” Wright added.

On-site visitation for family members is still prohibited, but administrators encourage families to visit virtually by telephone or video call, email, text or instant messaging.

On Thursday the Davis announced:

“Yesterday (Wednesday), our medical director personally reached out to each Canterbury family with a COVID-19 positive loved one. Members of the Canterbury team reached out to the families of all other residents. Further, we are establishing a dedicated phone line explicitly for families with questions; we have a team in place that will respond as quickly as possible to those calls.”

“There are serious concerns," Avula said.

He praised Canterbury for their quick response and how they’re working with health leaders to contain the virus, but he said there’s a sad reality.

“It’s likely not over,” Avula added. “Whether it’s this facility or another, we’re going to likely have more sick individuals in congregant care facilities. We’re likely going to have more deaths in congregant care facilities.”

The health director wants everyone to treat COVID 19 seriously.

“For so many folks who are like ‘we’ll be ok’ we’ll just go hang out at the park or hang out with friends’, I hope this hits home in a different way and makes us realize that this is real,” Avula said. “It’s in our community and we really do need to take every precaution we can, not just for ourselves and for our neighbors.”

Avula said the Richmond & Henrico Health Department have a total of roughly 300 test kits right now. However, they’re reserving those for people who meet specific conditions - the elderly, those with underlying health conditions and healthcare workers and first responders who are showing symptoms.

Watch Thursday’s interview with Richmond & Henrico Dept. of Health Director Danny Avula here:

Richmond and Henrico Health Director Dr. Danny Avula gives update on coronavirus

Richmond and Henrico Health Director Dr. Danny Avula gives update on coronavirus

Posted by NBC12 on Thursday, March 26, 2020

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