On Wednesday, Johnson County Health Care Center CEO Sean McCallister announced that three Amie Holt Care Center staff members as well as a resident of the facility had all tested negative for the coronavirus.
The staff members and resident were tested for the virus on Monday after two staff members were symptomatic following possible exposure to the virus.
Pending the results of the tests, the Amie Holt Care Center announced on Monday that it would suspend visitations. In a Facebook post, the center wrote that one resident and three staff members were tested for COVID-19 following potential exposure.
McCallister said that the tests were all sent to the state lab for testing. The state lab is prioritizing testing based on a number of factors, and the four tests from the care center should be considered high priority because they involve health care workers and a resident of a long-term care facility.
The care center was closed to visitors in early March to reduce the risk of introducing the virus. The virus spreads quickly through long-term care centers and nursing homes where residents live in close quarters and share community spaces. It can kill quickly in those communities too. Current data show that people who are older or have other health conditions often suffer more severe COVID-19 infections. Two of Wyoming’s largest infection clusters began at long-term-care facilities: the Showboat Retirement Community in Lander and the Washakie County Nursing Home. Five deaths have been associated with the Washakie County Nursing Home.
“We are doing everything we can to minimize risks associated with the coronavirus in our facility,” said Kristina Duarte, infection preventionist at the Johnson County Healthcare Center. “We are in very close communication with our medical director, clinical support team, and local and state health officials.”
Earlier this summer, the care center had begun allowing outdoor visitation with mask wearing rules in place. McCallister said that following the negative test results, outdoor visits could resume.
The care center began random surveillance testing of staff and residents about six weeks ago, McCallister said, and has been testing 20% of staff and residents every two weeks. So far, those tests have been negative.