COVID-19 outbreak at Gibson County long-term care facility

Coronavirus Watch

Registered Nurse Morgan James loads a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the Blood Bank of Alaska in Anchorage on March 19, 2021. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – State health officials are concerned and keeping a close eye on long-term care facilities after they’ve seen outbreaks of COVID-19 among residents.

“We currently are dealing with outbreaks involving residents and staff at four facilities across the state. These are located in Howard, Fulton, Allen and Gibson counties,” said Dr. Kristina Box, the Commissioner for the Indiana State Department of Health.

At the news conference on July 9, she delivered the unfortunate news that COVID-19 is spreading in long-term care facilities.

“At least 27 cases have been identified at these four facilities since mid-June. And we’re unfortunately aware of at least seven deaths across the four facilities,” she added.

Dr. Box reported that most of the cases and deaths occurred among people who were not vaccinated, or partially vaccinated. With this information, the state is now urging facilities to continue safety protocols, wear PPE and educate staff and residents.

“Our long-term care professionals know what they need to do and are doing everything that they can to keep people safe,” said Zach Cattell, President of the Indiana Health Care Association.

He and his organization work to make sure all 534 skilled nursing facilities in the state and the hundreds of other facilities, understand the latest health guidelines.

“We provide constant council on a daily basis and also hold weekly webinars for our clinical and administrative leadership,” added Cattell.

According to Indiana’s long-term care dashboard, 11 new residents tested positive for COVID-19 across the state and sadly, five new resident deaths were reported.

“We continue to be vigilant and assisting our members to maintain safety,” Cattell explained.

And one of the biggest ways health officials say we can maintain that safety is to get vaccinated.

“This protects both the individual and the residents that they care for,” added Dr. Box.

Health officials are monitoring the numbers, as they expect to see outbreaks. Click here to visit the state’s dashboard to see the latest data reported.

To review resources by the Indiana Health Care Association, click here.

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