20th resident at Henrico long-term care facility dies of COVID-19

20th resident at Henrico long-term care facility dies of COVID-19
3 new cases of COVID-19 were announced at Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center Sunday (Source: NBC12)

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Three additional residents at Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Henrico that previously tested positive for COVID-19 have died in the last 48 hours, bringing the total to 20 COVID-19 related deaths.

There are currently 93 in-house or hospitalized Canterbury residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, the center says. They are being treated at the hospital or on-site, per guidance from the Henrico County Health Department.

Here’s a breakdown of the cases:

  • 53 of the positive residents are asymptomatic carriers who show no signs of being ill
  • 40 residents are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms that range from mild to severe
  • 35 Canterbury residents have tested negative for COVID-19
  • 25 staff members have tested positive and some are still awaiting test results

The 3 deaths confirmed on April 5 bring the total at the facility to 20.

Canterbury Health and The Henrico Health Department says families were notified of the test results Thursday morning.

“In a long-term care facility, you’re in a unique circumstance where there’s high touch and a lot of going from one patient to another with a high volume of healthcare workers," said Richmond and Henrico Health Director Dr. Danny Avula.

That’s perhaps the very reason there continues to be a growing number of cases at Canterbury. While working to keep residents there safe, health officials are also taking a closer look at the healthcare workers there.

“The challenge is that there’s not enough {Personal Protective Equipment} on the ground for everybody to use PPE with every patient whether they’re symptomatic or not, and that’s a particular concern for us," he added.

Nearly 150 people work at Canterbury.

The new guidance is coming in every day on the best way to recognize and respond to the virus.

“Up until a couple of days of ago we were saying basically the time you develop symptoms is the time you’re most contagious but we are now backing up our investigations for a 48 hour period before that where you’re not showing any symptoms...For the last couple of weeks, individuals who haven’t had symptoms weren’t thought to have the disease so they weren’t using PPE on all of those cases," Avula added.

As they continue to learn more, health leaders can't help but stress what they already know.

“I’ve heard some people say ‘act like everyone has it’ and that would be consistent with what we are saying. Keep your 6-foot distance from everybody. Stay home as much as you can," he said.

There are seven different long term care facilities in Richmond and Henrico that have cases where at least two people either have coronavirus or are showing symptoms. This is especially concerning as health leaders work to stop the virus from spreading.

Dr. Avula says one question that’s come up is whether there should be a state mandate during this pandemic to stop medical staff who work at one facility from then going to work at a different one to pick up extra hours. While it could slow the spread, it could be hard because so many facilities are in need of healthcare workers right now.

Henrico officials give an update at nursing facility

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