TORRINGTON – The Goshen Healthcare Community (GHC) in Torrington recently experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in their facility. The facility operates as a nursing home with a designated dementia and Alzheimer’s unit, providing long-term care.
Paula Murray, Administrator for GHC, told The Telegram, “we’ve had 15 residents affected and 11 staff as of this week; last week it was nine staff. We expect we’re at the tail-end of this; most everybody has recovered.”
The first positive test occurred Sept. 12, according to Murray. She continued, GHC was following the Wyoming Department of Health and Center for Disease Control rules and guidelines when they were made aware of the first positive test.
Before the positive test, GHC nurses were testing 20% of their staff and residents weekly. After the positive test, GHC began testing residents and staff weekly, according to Murray.
All residents and staff who tested positive for COVID-19 were from one unit; thus, 3/4 of the facility was not affected. Murray said very few residents and staff members showed symptoms. The first positive case of COVID-19 was an employee of the facility who had tested positive on Sept. 12. That staff member never showed symptoms or was asymptomatic, while one resident began to show symptoms on Sept. 23.
“It’s community spread; I don’t think in a community where masks aren’t worn, you can really trace back to an event or a person. The residents don’t leave, so a staff member brought it in,” explained Murray.
“In a setting like this, we have a lot of co-morbidities, and age is a factor. Some of the residents who may get sick, they may be expected to pass away from something else and then get COVID, a mild case of COVID, and pass.” Murray informed The Telegram, residents who pass away and test positive for COVID-19 will have their death documented as a death related to COVID-19. However, it may not be the only causation of death.
According to Murray, there has only been one death to date with COVID-19 as a contributing factor.
Murray said the facility is very fortunate; they have not had many cases, and she feels the COVID-19 outbreak is contained. “Masks and extra cleaning have helped us.”
Despite this outbreak, Murray felt family and friends of residents have been very caring and supportive throughout this trying time. She added many people had encouraged them to continue to keep the place shut down and keep the virus out.
“The danger in the community, for everyone, not just us, is the fact that there’s not more mask-wearing. Masks are the key to keeping it away from you and keeping you from infecting others,” explained Murray.
As of Oct. 7, at 3 p.m., there were 105 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Goshen County with 37 active cases. This information was obtained from the Wyoming Department of Health through the Wyoming News Exchange.