According to Shawn Crabtree, the executive director of Lake Cumberland District Health Department announced Friday morning that the number of positive cases in Adair County is either 32 or 33.
At least 23 of these new cases are patients from Signature Healthcare at Summit Manor and one is staff. As of right now, there are 29 patients and four staff from Summit Manor that are positive for COVID-19 and one related death.
Crabtree said that after Summit Manor had positive cases last week, they then decided to test all patients and staff. Most patient test results were returned, but some staff test results are still pending. Results may take days to return due to tests being sent to different labs.
The total number of cases is uncertain because one positive staff member of Summit Manor may be a resident of another county. He stated that employees who were positive were sent home immediately to isolate and will not return until medically cleared.
Crabtree read a statement from Summit Manor that said that they are forming three separate units within Summit Manor: one unit for patients who are COVID-19 positive, one unit for patients whose test results aren’t back and another for those who have tested negative.
The unit for positive COVID-19 patients will have staff that only work in that wing and they will have a barrier from the rest of the facility. Supplies, food and staff who work on that unit will not be near other wings. In addition, an infection control physician and nurse will be monitoring this unit.
Should a higher level of care be needed, patients will be transferred to a hospital and Crabtree added that one positive case was transferred last night.
Summit Manor is making plans for where to put patients who return from a hospital stay that previously had COVID-19 or were possibly exposed.
Crabtree stated that they did not release any of this information as soon as they received it for several reasons, but essentially because they needed time to notify all families, they wanted to give Summit Manor to get plans in place and he wanted to get all information and thoughts organized.
He said that as soon as more positive results came in, action and plans began taking place within Summit Manor, and he said he is confident in Summit Manor’s plans and says they are taking precautions.
Crabtree speculates that the virus entered the facility due to an employee or essential person who had it and didn’t know it since sometimes the virus doesn’t give symptoms. He reiterated that this was completely speculation, however.
He added that they cannot share individual case information due to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.
Unless essential for the public’s protection, they do not release business names that have an employee with COVID-19 because it gives the assumption that a business did something wrong and it conveys a false sense of security that avoiding that business will keep you safe, which he says it won’t due to the community spread of this virus. Also, by avoiding a business, people then begin to flood other businesses who will have overwhelming traffic and in addition, the virus could spread more easily.
By doing case investigations, they hope to slow down the virus because stopping it is unrealistic.
Crabtree advised that no representatives from Summit Manor attend the press conference so that they didn’t risk spreading and so they could continue working there.