Mulberry Creek

With coronavirus test results back on 75% of the Mulberry Creek Nursing Center & Rehab back, three came as positive, according to a notification from its parent company, Kissito Healthcare. Meanwhile, a resident thought to have tested positive ended up testing negative afterward.

All residents of Mulberry Creek Nursing and Rehab will be tested for the coronavirus, following the discovery that three employees have tested positive for the disease.

Meanwhile, the city also has its first two confirmed cases of the coronavirus in children; and the Virginia Department of Health is hiring 1,300 contract tracers who will help to identify and notify the close contacts of people who have tested positive.

At Mulberry Creek, the resident who tested positive for the coronavirus on May 13 has since received negative results on two further tests, “indicating that the first test was a ‘false’ positive,” Kissito announced on Monday in an email to its residents and their family members and provided to the Bulletin.

Kissito Healthcare was “notified by the Health Department on May 15, 2020 that one of our non-clinical employees tested positive for COVID-19 after being hospitalized for unrelated symptoms,” the notification stated.

After that notification, Kissito tested all of its Mulberry Creek employees. As of Monday, 75% of the test results have been returned, showing two additional employees with the coronavirus.

“As a result of these findings, we are partnering with the local health department and National Guard to proactively test all residents for COVID-19 at our facility. Further precautions are being taken, including the donning of full PPE [personal protective equipment] while in our building. We will continue to provide further updates once the testing results are available,” the notification states.

When asked how the false positive in the resident affects statistics, Nancy Bell, spokesperson for the West Piedmont District of the VDH, said that she will check with the epidemiologist about that.

When asked for other confirmation, she replied, “rather than release the name of a business or long-term care facility, we work closely with them behind the scenes to ensure hygiene and social distancing measures are being followed. We identify and isolate all close contacts, and recommend widespread testing.”

She described the roles of the 1,300 contact tracers who the VDH is looking to hire:

“They will work in the districts to help with identification and notification of close contacts. This is very much needed. We have trained and repurposed staff to assist with this monumental task, and still our folks are working around the clock.

“Every positive test result that we receive has to be vetted by the CDC, and quite a bit of data entry and case management is involved. Depending on the number of close contacts a person with a positive test has had, dozens of phone calls may be required as we reach out with information and instructions to each of their close contacts. Quite a bit of follow-up ensues as we check in on patients and their close contacts to remind them of the precautions they should be taking.

“If a business or school or church has an outbreak, we take a deeper dive and provide guidance and support to avoid further spread of the virus.”

She said it’s not clear yet how many contact tracers will be assigned to the local area or when they would begin work.

Application information on the jobs is on the VDH website. The jobs will be contractor positions hired through staffing agencies.

In Martinsville, a positive case was reported for a child between the ages of 0 and 5 on Monday, and another positive case in a child was reported on Tuesday, that time for a child between the ages of 5 and 10. No other information about them was available.

There were four confirmed cases in total Tuesday in Martinsville, three males and one female, with other age ranges in the 20’s and 40’s.

One Patrick County woman in her 40’s was given a positive diagnosis on Tuesday.

In Henry County, two women were diagnosed as having the coronavirus, one in her 50’s and the other in her 60’s.

This brings totals to:

Martinsville, 20, with 4 hospitalized;

Henry County, 50, with six hospitalized and two dead;

Patrick County, 10.

The VDH on Tuesday morning reported 32,145 coronavirus cases across Virginia, with 3,904 people hospitalized and 1,041 dead.

Holly Kozelsky is a writer for the Martinsville Bulletin; contact her at 276-638-8801 ext. 243.

Holly Kozelsky is a writer for the Martinsville Bulletin; contact her at 276-638-8801 ext. 243.

Holly Kozelsky is a writer for the Martinsville Bulletin; contact her at 276-638-8801 ext. 243.

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