COVID-19 outbreak at Princeton Health Care Center being monitored closely by DHHR

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – In early July, an employee at the Princeton Health Care Center, a nursing home, tested positive for COVID-19. As of last Monday, July 27, that number had grown to about two dozen active cases among their staff and patients.

Now as of August 1, that number has grown to more than three dozen. Upon finding out, Governor Justice ordered the National Guard to help the facility test everyone there. 

“Absolutely the National Guard under my order is running to the fire. They’re gonna test everyone there. And we’re gonna try in every way we possibly can to suppress this situation and suppress it immediately,” Justice said.

According to the DHHR, it’s believed the case that started the outbreak was related to travel from the Myrtle Beach area. There are 91 residents at the Princeton Health Care Center, and nearly all of them are high-risk for COVID-19. DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch said recently that outbreaks have become much more common as the pandemic has continued. 

“Where we are is a board range of settings and communities. We have outbreaks now in psychiatric hospitals, correctional facilities, daycares, child residential facilities, universities, schools,” Crouch said.

Before and after the outbreak began, the staff has tried everything to keep things under control. Visitation is strictly limited, employees are constantly screened for symptoms, infected patients are kept in separate treatment areas, and HVAC units that circulate the air are consistently cleaned and examined. 

“The staff at the facility did exactly what needed to be done. Additional testing on the second source, second positive case was done on the 17th, the 23rd and on the 28th. So we have been in constant communication with the facility, with the nursing home,” Crouch added.

Nursing homes have been a hotspot for COVID-19. It’s partly because of how much close-contact care is done for patients residing in them. As of now, there are 38 active cases of COVID-19 at the nursing home. There are also reports of some people at the home having symptoms, but previously testing negative. However, the staff is still constantly checking employees and residents for symptoms.

There are 91 residents at the nursing home and since March a total of 46 people, both staff and residents, have tested positive for COVID-19.