UPDATE: New information on Heartland-Marietta nursing home coronavirus cases

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE: 4/11/2020 10:15 P.M.

During a meeting of the Marietta/Belpre City Health Department, Health Commissioner Anne Goon said the regional epidemiologist released numbers for the Heartland-Marietta nursing home outbreak.

She says at the time of testing, 25 people tested positive, but only 7 people were symptomatic.

There are 36 confirmed cases in Washington County as of Saturday at 2 p.m. One person has died from the virus, but health officials confirmed that case was not connected to the nursing home.

UPDATE: 4/10/20 2:30 P.M.

The operator of Heartland-Marietta, a skilled-nursing facility in Washington County, Friday afternoon confirmed positive tests for the coronavirus at the facility.

As of 3:15 p.m. on Friday, state health officials had reported one death and 35 confirmed cases in Washington County, although the county health epartment said earlier on Friday that the death was not connected to the skilled-nursing facility.

In a news release, a spokesperson for HCR ManorCare said the Heartland-Marietta had been notified of positive cases by health officials.

The county health department on April 7 reported an outbreak at a skilled-nursing facility in the county, but did not say which one.

Earlier on Friday, WTAP filed a freedom-of-information request with local and state health officials requesting the release of the name of the facility.

“We know that the frail and elderly are especially susceptible to this virus, Julie Becker, HCR’s assistant vice president for marketing communications said in the release. “That’s why we are in close communication with our local health department, CDC and CMS to ensure we have the latest information and resources available. The health and well-being of our patients and employees remains our top priority.”

Becker said the facility has taken significant precautions to minimize risk to patients and employees and that systems and processes have been place to help reduce the risks associated with the COVID-19 virus.

Currently, Heartland is not accepting new admissions and is taking regular symptom and temperature checks of all residents.

“We have reduced our temperature threshold to 99 degrees so we can address any change in condition rapidly,” Becker said.

In addition, sanitizing and cleaning processes have been increase and the facility is reviewing all inventory for personal protective equipment, such as masks and gowns, along with educating staff r on proper use and disposal.

Working with the Department of Health, CDC and the community to minimize any additional risk.

Becker said patients’ families are being updated and the “care team” is receiving regular in-service updates.

Some precautions being taken include:

- creating an Airborne Isolation Unit as part of our infection-control and treatment plan.
- designating an isolation unit for patients who meet our isolation criteria.
- creating barriers for the unit to protect other residents and employee and keep higher- risk patients in a focused-treatment area.
- having personal protective equipment dedicated to the unit.

UPDATE: 4/7/20 3 P.M.

Several positive COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at a skilled-nursing facility in Washington County as the total number of cases in the county has climbed to 21, health officials said Tuesday afternoon.

The Washington County Health Department announced the outbreak in a news release, but did not identify the name of the facility.

The health department said residents and staff members have been tested for COVID-19 but did not provide an exact number of people tested. Additional test results from the facility are pending, officials said.

According to the U.S.Centers Disease Control and Prevention, one in four people with COVID-19 may not show symptoms.

Health department administrator Roger Coffman urged residents to continue follow preventive measure in put in place by authorities.

“It is more important than ever to keep 6 feet away from others, wash your hands, and stay at home in order to limit further spread of COVID-19,” he said.

More information can be found by clicking on the link to the right of this article.

You can also contact with Ohio Department of Health by calling 1-833-427-5634.

UPDATE: 4/6/20 7:15 P.M.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Washington County
nearly doubled in a 24-hour period, health officials said Monday.

Fifteen people are now being treated for the virus in the county, Anne Goon, health commissioner of the Marietta/Belpre City Health Department, said. Two of those patients are hospitalized, she said.

The total number of cases is up from eight reported on Sunday.

As of 7 p.m. Monday, state health officials said 142 people had died from the virus. There had been 4,450 confirmed cases with 1,214 hospitalized across more than 80 of the state's 88 counties.


UPDATE: 4/5/2020 3:41 P.M.

As the state total climbs above 4,000, Ohio Department of Health officials have identified eight positive cases in Washington County. Two people are being treated in the hospital there.

Just to the west, Athens County is still sitting at three confirmed cases and one hospitalization. One person from Athens County has died from the virus.

Noble County and Morgan County are still listed as having zero confirmed cases.

UPDATE: 4/5/2020 2:35 P.M.

As of Sunday afternoon, Ohio has 4,043 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are 119 deaths from the virus as of 2:30 on Sunday. That's an increase of 17 deaths from the previous day.

1,104 people are hospitalized with the virus. 346 of those are in intensive care units.

Saturday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a press conference where he announced the state would not force Ohioans to wear cloth masks out in public, but personally, he would be following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations to do so.

The governor also announced that he would be signing a new executive order allowing Ohioans to more readily access counseling through telehealth services.

"“Normally to utilize telehealth services you must have had a face to face first meeting. Counselors and social workers would be required to take special training to provide telehealth services. The order that I signed today will enable those requirements to be removed so patients can be more readily seen and we break down those barriers today," DeWine said.

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted announced that Broadband Ohio had been working with internet service providers to create public WiFi hotspots for Ohioans who may not have access to the internet while staying home.

A list of hotspots can be found here: coronavirus.ohio.gov/BusinessHelp under the "Individuals and Families" tab.

As of Saturday morning the Ohio Department of Health has confirmed 102 deaths related to COVID-19.

The Buckeye State has 3,739 positive cases. Over one thousand people have been hospitalized with coronavirus. 326 are in intensive care.

Cases range from newborn patients to patients over 100-years-old.

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