PINCKNEYVILLE — Pinckneyville Nursing and Rehabilitation on Sunday posted a message to the facility’s Facebook page that said three staff members and 15 residents had tested positive for COVID-19.
The statement said family or responsible parties were notified of the status of their loved ones who live at the facility. Two employees had previously tested positive, bringing the total number of positive employees to five.
Scott Stout, CEO of nursing home owner WLC Management Firm, said only one resident and one staff member are experiencing symptoms. The rest of those who tested positive are not showing any symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
WLC owns and operates Pinckneyville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, along with nine other nursing facilities in Southern Illinois.
After two staff members tested positive, Stout said the remainder of the staff and all residents were tested as a precaution. Because of the number of residents who tested positive, they were able to create a wing of positive residents and dedicate staff to take care of them. Stout said the facility is following all recommendations from Illinois Department of Public Health.
“It broke my heart a little,” Stout said.
WLC Management tested the entire facility about three weeks ago, and at that time, all staff and residents tested negative for COVID-19.
He said they will treat the entire facility as if it is COVID-positive. Staff throughout the building will wear full PPE, gowns, gloves, masks and face shields during contact with any resident.
“We are all devastated. The staff worked so hard to keep the virus out. We have been sticklers for mask use and infection control,” Stout said.
He added that the staff is disappointed that the virus crept in while they were being so careful. The residents, however, are remaining very positive, according to Stout.
“I’m very proud of the team in Pinckneyville. They are a good team and they are working to make sure our residents are well cared for,” Stout said.
Residents and staff at Pinckneyville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center will be tested each week to monitor changes in their conditions. Those who are fever- and symptom-free for 24 or more hours can be considered no longer contagious.
The Perry County Health Department announced Sunday in a news release that they were notified of 24 additional confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total positive cases in Perry County to 128.
Of the 128 confirmed cases in Perry County, 50 are active cases. Seventy-seven people have been released from isolation. One Perry County resident who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 has died.
Perry County was one of seven Southern Illinois counties for which IDPH on Friday issued a warning for COVID-19. A county enters a warning level when it experiences an increase in two or more COVID-19 risk indicators from the state's COVID-19 resurgence mitigation plan. Along with Perry County, Gallatin, Jackson, Johnson, Randolph, Saline and White counties are at warning level.
The Perry County Health Department recommends anyone who is experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call their health care provider for advice.
The health department recommends staying home as much as possible to prevent spread of COVID-19, along with social distancing of 6 feet or more, avoiding large groups and gatherings, washing hands frequently and using a cloth face covering if you must leave home.
For any additional updates or educational information, visit The Perry County Health Department’s Facebook page.
COVID-19 numbers in Southern Illinois
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