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11 dead after COVID-19 outbreak at Indiana nursing home

Dr. Box said the State Department of Health has been working with the facility since they requested assistance from the strike team on March 26.

ANDERSON, Ind — A serious outbreak of COVID-19 at a nursing home in Madison County, Indiana has taken the lives of 11 people.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said her greatest fear during the pandemic was that a long-term care facility in Indiana would be hit with an outbreak like the one seen in the state of Washington. Dr. Box unfortunately had to make the announcement on April 6 that there is an outbreak at the Bethany Pointe Health Campus.

Dr. Box said the State Department of Health has been working with the facility since they requested assistance from the strike team on March 26. The following day, the strike team and a nurse surveyor tested symptomatic individuals and confirmed three positive cases in residents.

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From there, the situation escalated. As of April 3, 20 residents were in isolation and nine had died. Since that day, two more have died and all patients in the part of the facility where the outbreak occurred have been tested.

Three employees have also been hospitalized with the virus. Two of them are in critical condition.

Dr. Box said the situation is heartbreaking and demonstrates what brutal toll the coronavirus can take on vulnerable populations. She said it will not be the last outbreak of its kind.

According to Dr. Box, asymptomatic patients are being removed from the facility to another skilled nursing facility. They are also making sure that asymptomatic patients who test positive for the virus will not be moved to a new facility but quarantined where they are.

Workers at long-term care facilities are being urged to follow guidelines from infection control and not allow residents to eat meals together. Ill employees and residents should be isolated, and the State Department of Health should be contacted for testing. Symptomatic individuals, as well as anyone in contact with them, will be tested.

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