Princeton Health Care Center confirms 38 active cases of COVID-19

Coronavirus

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – Princeton Health Community Center is reporting 38 active cases of COVID-19.

The facility has released the following information:

Since March there have been Forty-six individuals (residents and employees combined) who have tested positive for Covid-19, 38 are active cases.  All current confirmed/suspected residents are being isolated to specific Covid-19 designated care areas. Confirmed resident cases are being placed in a separate area and are being cared for by designated/dedicated staff members. We are monitoring seven individuals (staff and residents) who are displaying signs/symptoms of Covid, who have recently had negative Covid test results.

The list of Covid-like symptoms includes but is not limited to; fever, body aches, runny nose, cough, sore throat, pink eye, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, weakness, loss of taste, loss of smell, and in severe cases respiratory distress. Some never display symptoms at all.

We currently have 91 residents at PHCC. Our population is vulnerable and many receive hospice/palliative care services on a normal basis. When and if a resident becomes acutely ill, we honor the wishes of our residents/responsible parties. Some may elect to be transported to the hospital while some want to remain at PHCC with “loved ones”.

We have and continue to have travel policies in effect. That includes a combination of testing and increased surveillance for Covid-related symptoms for staff following vacation time. Individual testing of employees and residents have also been completed when indicated since March. We have and continue to limit our residents outside travel unless the situation is medically necessary.

From an engineering control standpoint, our team routinely cleans our HVAC units and just this week cleaned them again. We recently purchased additional air purification systems that are in use in resident care areas. We are also having remote discussions with members of the National Guard in regards to our air handling units within the facility. Just this morning, we heard from Captain Dwight Siemiaczo with the US Army Engineers. He indicated that there have been documented cases that show that Covid-19 can be spread through HVAC units. We have requested that members of their team come to PHCC to assess our HVAC systems to determine if additional controls/interventions are needed. Ideally, a Covid positive case is best contained when there is availability to negative pressure rooms. Negative pressure rooms are located in acute care settings and are very limited.

Visitation of residents remains suspended until further notice. We continue to encourage window visits, the use of Skype video conferencing, phone calls and written communication to stay in touch with loved ones. Please note, that when you call the facility to speak with or inquire about a loved one, the staff may be providing care. In that case, please leave a message and we will be happy to call you back as soon as possible. We have had some recent phone issues and we apologize for that inconvenience. Until further notice, 300 hall can be reached at 304-308-8291. 400 hall can be reached at 304-308-2130.

Admissions and re-admissions remain on hold until further notice. We have relayed this decision to state health officials who agree that this is the best plan of action at this time. We do not take this decision or the current events lightly and feel that this is in the best interest of all involved. We will be offering to help with placement options as needed while also focusing on caring for our residents within the facility. It is our hope and intention that residents may return to PHCC at a later time based on the ongoing evaluation of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our team continues with increased infection control practices which includes, employee screenings, the use of appropriate personal protective equipment while in the facility, and increased cleaning procedures. Dr. C. Mirabile is our Medical Director and is on site almost daily to help us combat this virus and we can’t thank him enough.

We remain committed to increased resident and staff surveillance related to potential symptoms and overall prevention of the virus. All of our residents have been and continue to be monitored frequently for signs/symptoms of Covid-19.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com