Forty-five people who live or work at Warrenton’s Brookside Nursing and Rehab Center are actively positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning – 35 current residents and 10 employees, according to Beverly Greene, administrator of the facility. The Virginia Department of Health was reporting Tuesday that a total of 48 cases have been associated with the outbreak.
Greene said that three people have been hospitalized; one has returned to Brookside and two are still in the hospital.
In addition, Greene said, “One resident who tested positive has passed away. We are currently ascertaining the exact cause of death.”
She said that four of the people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are younger than 65, the rest are 65 or older.
The administrator said that 123 residents live at Brookside. She added, “We have short-term and long-term residents …. We also have a secure unit for residents who have dementia.”
All COVID-19 positive residents are located on one separated unit at the facility, Greene said, and are quarantined on a separate section of the unit using canvas zippered temporary doors. Any resident who has tested negative but is suspected of being COVID-19 positive is quarantined in a different section of the unit, again using temporary zippered canvas doors, she said.
Speaking to precautions that Brookside has implemented to prevent the spread of the virus, Greene said that in “March we implemented and continue all Centers for Disease Control/VDH guidelines for virus prevention at the facility.” She said all staff members use one entrance, are screened and their temperatures are taken. “If any staff member exhibits any symptoms, he or she is immediately sent to their physician/urgent care for a rapid test and must have medical clearance before returning to work.”
It is common for long term care staff to work at more than one facility, but Greene said that since March, staff members have been required to work exclusively at Brookside to prevent transferring the virus from one facility to another.
Discussing testing procedures, Greene said that The National Guard tested all residents and employees on June 23 and again on July 20. “Those results were 100% negative. … On Aug. 13, we received word that a family member of one of our staff had tested positive for COVID-19. As is our policy, we immediately sent that staff member for a rapid test, which, unfortunately, came back positive. We then immediately implemented our procedures and policies we had prepared if such a situation occurred, including immediately conducting another round of testing, which resulted in the positive results.”
Greene said that Brookside will continue to test according to CDC guidelines going forward.
She said that families are contacted frequently to update them on their loved ones.
The outbreak at Brookside is the first outbreak in a long-term care setting in Fauquier County, the sixth in the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District. According to the VDH site, there is also an “outbreak in progress,” with eight cases at the Countryside Assisted Living facility in Madison County. The data from VDH indicates that there has been at least one death (and fewer than five) from the Madison County outbreak. An outbreak at Culpeper Health and Rehab is reporting 27 cases.
The RRHD reported its first outbreak of COVID-19 in an educational setting on Aug. 6. The outbreak designation came as a result of three confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Bradley Elementary School in Warrenton.
In the health district, there have also been five outbreaks in congregate care settings and one in a health care setting since the beginning of the pandemic. In total, 228 COVID-19 cases have been attributed to the 13 outbreaks in the RRHD.
State-wide, as of Tuesday morning, there have been 370 outbreaks in long term care settings (resulting in 9,111 cases and 1,330 deaths), 270 outbreaks in congregate care settings, 57 in correctional facilities, 57 in health care settings and 45 in educational settings.