COVID-19 outbreak infects 170 inside Baltimore FutureCare facility

Posted at 1:07 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 07:03:43-04

BALTIMORE — A FutureCare nursing home in Northwest Baltimore has recorded 170 positive cases of COVID-19, Mayor Jack Young said Wednesday.

Among them are 41 staff members at the Lochearn facility.

To combat the spread, FutureCare began ‘widespread surveillance testing at the site, which monitors the intensity and spread of the disease in a community with high transmission.

Officials say many of those who tested positive showed no symptoms, but the test still allows medical staff to monitor, and isolate positive patients.

The Baltimore City Health Department is working with the Maryland Department of Health, LifeBridge Health, and Johns Hopkins to address the outbreak at the facility.

RELATED:Gov. Hogan enacts emergency order to protect nursing home residents, staff amid COVID-19 outbreaks

One of Governor Larry Hogan's newly formed Strike Teams has been called in to assist. The team is made up of National Guard members, local and state health department officials, EMS clinicians, and doctors and nurses from local hospital systems.

All residents and staff at the location have already been tested, while at the same time receiving personal protective equipment.

“FutureCare’s highest priority continues to be the safety and well-being of our staff and residents, and we will continue to work diligently with the state and local health departments, our LifeBridge Health partners, and our Johns Hopkins infectious disease consultant, to protect our staff and residents,” said FutureCare Spokeswoman Holly O’Shea. “FutureCare has aggressively implemented infection control procedures and was an early adapter of visitation restriction, universal masking, and have implemented all of Governor Hogan’s orders."

Just last month, City health officials confirmed five cases among residents and staff at the FutureCare-Cold Spring facility, and five others at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, both of which are in Northwest Baltimore's 2124 and 2125 zip codes which have 48 and 223 confirmed cases respectively.

In the last 24-hours alone positive cases in the city have increased by nearly 100.