Princeton Health Care Center releases statement on outbreak of COVID-19

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – The Princeton Health Care Center has released a statement after an outbreak of COVID-19.

“We at Princeton Health Care Center have a commitment to caring for others. We are also committed to being transparent, especially during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Since March there have been Forty-two individuals (residents and employees combined) who have tested positive for Covid-19. We are required to report cumulative numbers, so that does include active and nonactive cases.  All current residents who are symptomatic and/or confirmed cases are being isolated to specific Covid-19 designated care areas. Those individuals are being cared for by designated/dedicated staff members. Many who have tested positive have been without symptoms.

There are currently  five individuals that are displaying Covid-like symptoms however, they recently tested negative.

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 completed the third round of mass testing on 7-23-20 in which 279 residents and employees were tested by our clinical team here at PHCC All of those results have been received. Individual residents and/or their responsible parties will be notified when indicated. Any identified positive staff members are not permitted to work until cleared per CDC guidelines.

Our team, with the assistance of Princeton Rescue Squad has started our fourth round of mass testing. We anticipate the testing will be completed by 7-30-20.

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.

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.

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.

Our team remains focused on meeting the psychological, social and physical needs of our residents. We are as always, doing our very best to keep our residents and staff upbeat and positively engaged especially during these times.

We appreciate the ongoing support, prayers and understanding as we work through this process.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 304-487-3458.”

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