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8 residents, 16 staff members test positive for COVID-19 at Bel-Air nursing home

Posted at 12:15 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 12:19:26-04

BEL-AIR, Md. — Eight residents and 16 staff members at Forest Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center have tested positive for COVID-19.

Of the residents, five are being cared for at the Center, two are being treated at the hospital, and one resident has died from the virus.

In a statement, Forest Hill said in part:

"We are doing everything in our power to protect our residents and staff. This includes providing appropriate PPE. We are working diligently to take heightened precautions and to adhere to protocols outlined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We are also working closely with our local health department to prevent exposure and to protect all our residents and staff at the Center. We are also in regular contact with our suppliers and vendors, as well as our pharmacy providers to ensure the center has access to the equipment, supplies and medications necessary to maintain care for our residents and patients.

In addition, we have increased our communication with both resident representatives, staff, families and partners. Upon confirming a positive case of COVID-19 at our Center, we notify staff and call families as soon as possible. We are providing frequent updates and guidance to center teams so that they have the most current information, education and prevention protocols in place, including those from the Centers for Disease Control among other agencies.

Finally, the center has been provided with a Preparation Checklist for Reducing the Spread of Respiratory Illness and has been advised to exercise extreme diligence in compliance with CDC guidelines. Before every shift, we assess the health of our staff and screen all staff members for respiratory illness, which includes a temperature check. In addition, we screen all outside essential health care professionals prior to entering the facility. If a staff member does not feel well, they have clear direction to stay home, and we have put in place a number of support mechanisms to help them during this time. We are restricting visitation at this time based on guidance from the CDC and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)."

Forest Hill said they will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated information and education to the center, staff, patients, residents and families, as updates become available.