JACKSON, MI — A Jackson-area retirement community has seen unspecified rise in cases of the novel coronavirus since mid-September.
Ganton’s Countryside Care Center in Summit Township has reported a cumulative 49 cases of COVID-19 in residents and one death from the virus, according to data reported to the state as of Sept. 30. It has also reported 38 cases in staff.
None of the other seven Jackson County facilities in the state’s daily report have reported more than two cases in residents and nine in staff. Both of those statistics come from Arbor Manor Care Center, also run by Ganton’s Retirement Services.
The Jackson County Health Department declined to say how many cases are active at Countryside Care Center but confirmed health officials are working with the center to implement infection control methods, such as additional personal protective equipment, eliminating visitations and adequate staffing plans.
Ganton’s Retirement Services administrators confirmed that “several” people, both staff and residents, have tested positive in the past two weeks, though declined to specify further. Director of Operations Crystal Caldwell said residents with COVID-19 are being treated in an isolated section of the facility and most of those people have mild or no symptoms.
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“Many staff have already gone through the recommended quarantine and have been released back to work by the health department,” Caldwell said in a statement on Thursday, Oct. 1.
Nursing homes are considered particularly susceptible to coronavirus outbreaks because the disease affects those with related pre-existing conditions more, such as diabetes or difficulty breathing. In Michigan, more than 8,600 cases have been identified in residents of long-term care facilities and more than 2,100 deaths have been reported, according to state data.
In Jackson County, 27.7% of COVID-19 positive cases are in residents older than 60, according to the health department.
Countryside began weekly testing of staff and residents “whenever a positive result came back,” Caldwell said. She said screening for respiratory illness and elevated temperatures are done multiple times per shift.
COVID-19 PREVENTION TIPS:
In addition to washing hands regularly and not touching your face, officials recommend practicing social distancing, assuming anyone may be carrying the virus.
Health officials say you should be staying at least 6 feet away from others and working from home, if possible.
Use disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray cleaners on frequently-touched surfaces in your home (door handles, faucets, countertops) and carry hand sanitizer with you when you go into places like stores.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also issued executive orders requiring people to wear face coverings over their mouth and nosewhile in public indoor and crowded outdoor spaces. See an explanation of what that means here.
Additional information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
For more data on COVID-19 in Michigan, visit https://www.mlive.com/coronavirus/data/
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