CARROLL COUNTY, Md. — A man in his 90s living in a Carroll County nursing home has died from COVID-19 and 66 other residents have tested positive for the virus.
"We never thought that we would be in a position like this with an incident of this magnitude but trust me when I say we are all in this," said Stephen Wantz, President of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners.
The Carroll County Health Department announced that an investigation is continuing at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy where a total of 66 residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease since Friday.
According to Health Officer Ed Singer, the man who died had underlying medical conditions. 11 others are still getting treated at Carroll County Hospital and Frederick Memorial Hospital.
"This is relatively contained as an outbreak within in a facility. It’s not something that the community should be overly alarmed about and we are doing everything we can to address it," said Carroll County Health Officer Ed Singer. “We’re maintaining constant communication and will continue to provide resources and support to the patients, their families and facility staff during this difficult time.”
Singer said the nursing home can hold up to 104 residents. Everyone has been tested and they are just waiting on the rest of the results.
In the meantime, the facility is complying with federal and state guidance regarding infection control, including strict isolation for residents presenting any symptoms, staff screening and other measures.
Pleasant View Mt. Airy had previously implemented multiple prevention measures according to state and federal guidance, including restricting visitation and communal dining, suspending group activities, implementing extra cleaning measures and conducting daily checks for both staff and residents for symptoms.
Since the outbreak, the facility has also had a staffing shortage, Singer said possibly because people are afraid to come into work or are self-isolating at home with symptoms. To support the facility, Carroll Hospital, a LifeBridge Health Center, provided additional staffing and the Carroll County Health Department has provided them with additional personal protective equipment for staff protection.
Officials said they are taking all precautions necessary and hope all Marylanders will do the same to stop the spread of the virus.
"I’ve gotten reports from around the county from some of our bigger box stores where aisles were packed with people. I’m just not sure what folks are not understanding about this deadly pandemic," said Wantz.
The Carroll County Health Department will offer updates as they become available.
In a statement Gov. Larry Hogan said:
"It took nearly three weeks for the National Capital Region to go from 0 to 1,000 cases of COVID-19. It took three days for the region to go from 1,000 to 2,000 cases in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. This is a rapidly evolving and escalating emergency which is now surrounding the nation’s capital.
“The number of deaths in our state as a result of COVID-19 has doubled. We have lost 10 of our fellow Marylanders, and we mourn each and every one of them.
“Tonight, Maryland has experienced a tragic coronavirus outbreak at Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy. Multiple state agencies are on the scene and working closely with the local health department and the facility as they take urgent steps to protect additional residents and staff who may have been exposed.
“I want to thank all of the doctors, nurses, and first responders all across our state who are working around the clock to respond to this pandemic.
“As we have been warning for weeks, older Marylanders and those with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable and at a significantly higher risk of contracting this disease.
“We continue to call for Marylanders to stay at home, except for essential reasons, in order to help stop the spread of this virus.
“We are leveraging the full arsenal of public health and government, but defeating this invisible enemy will require a unity of effort and spirit like nothing we have ever faced.”
For additional information on COVID-19, visit the Carroll County Health Department’s web page at cchd.maryland.gov/COVID-1.