16 of 40 residents at LutheranCare relocated to quarantine unit

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CLINTON — Sixteen residents of a 40-resident unit at LutheranCare have been relocated to a quarantine unit at Presbyterian Homes & Services after testing positive for COVID-19.

Lenora D’Apice, vice-president of development, marketing and public relations for Community Wellness Partners, Inc., an affiliation of LutheranCare in Clinton and Presbyterian Homes & Services in New Hartford, confirmed Thursday that the 16 residents tested positive for the virus and have been transferred to a COVID Unit created at Presbyterian Homes.

Residents will remain in the unit, “for as long as it’s necessary for them to recover,” D’Apice said. “That’s where they will remain until they have two negative tests for COVID-19, and then they will be transferred to a transitional unit, which will serve as a buffer unit, before they are able to be discharged into the general population.” She said the majority of the residents in the unit were asymptomatic.

The vice-president of development said “a few residents” in the effected unit started to develop symptoms of the virus and were tested and when they tested positive, the entire unit was tested.

D’Apice reiterated that rapid testing is not available at Community Wellness Partners, but that nasal or oral testing has been used at the facilities. “Usually the nasal test results are back within 2-3 days,” she said.

Residents have been asked to wear masks in the event it becomes necessary for their safety, said D’Apice.

LutheranCare, “has been following all infection control policies,” issued by the county and state, she added, in accordance with state Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control guidelines. On Tuesday, the campus was visited by state Health Department staff, during which time inspectors found that the facility was in compliance with guidelines, D’Apice said.

If cases “are in a cluster population,” state health officials, “come up and want to see what could be causing it,” said D’Apice. “They came in the day before yesterday and found that the campus was in compliance with infection control policies.”

As for the patients who tested positive, they will remain in treatment and quarantine, and their symptoms will be continually monitored, she said.

“They must be in a 14-day quarantine and test negative for COVID twice before they make the transition back into the general population,” D’Apice said.

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