FARMINGTON – Residents and employees of a Farmington nursing home have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a news release from the facility.
Life Care Center of Farmington, part of the larger Life Care Centers of America, said two residents tested positive for the coronavirus, resulting in the testing of all residents of the care facility. Seven employees have also tested positive, according to the release.
As of Monday, about 95% of the facility’s employees had been tested. The test results from the residents were pending, according to the release.
“Our primary concern is for the health and safety of our residents, nursing staff and other care providers. They are on the front line of this unprecedented outbreak,” Life Care Centers of America said in its news release.
The nursing home said it was taking precautions and had designated 19 rooms as isolation units for residents who had tested positive, and they would have their own dedicated staff to limit cross-over. Any residents, and roommates, who exhibited symptoms of the coronavirus – fever, coughing and shortness of breath – would also be transferred to the isolation rooms, the nursing home said.
“Our staff is trained in proper use of PPEs and are following all relevant guidelines in infection control. They are putting in heroic efforts to ensure that our patients are receiving the best care,” the company’s release said.
Outbreaks in nursing homes, often with residents living in close quarters, can be particularly concerning and challenging for public health workers. Residents tend to be older and suffer from other conditions or long-term illnesses, which can place them in the high-risk category for COVID-19.
As of early this week, there were more than 400 facilities across the country that had reported cases of the coronavirus, according to a report from NBC News. That is an increase of 172% from the 146 cases reported March 23, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Life Care Center of Farmington has restricted all visitors, nonessential health care personnel and vendors from entering the facility. Communal dining and group activities for residents has also ended.
The New Mexico Department of Health last week reported an outbreak of COVID-19 at the La Vida Llena facility in Albuquerque. Since then, there have been six deaths reported at the facility as of Thursday, according the Department of Health.
As of Thursday afternoon, New Mexico reported 989 positive cases of the coronavirus, an increase of more than 100 new cases in a day. There have been 17 deaths reported, with 73 people currently hospitalized, according to the department’s news release. The state says about 217 people have recovered.
Federal law requires nursing homes to notify family members if a resident is sick.