MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A nursing home in western Wisconsin announced on Tuesday that numerous residents and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Lodge at River Falls Comforts of Home and the Pierce County Public Health Department reported that so far 15 residents and eight staff members or personal caregivers have tested positive for the virus. Officials say three residents who contracted COVID-19 have since passed away.

“Together with senior living leaders, we have been preparing for the possibility of outbreaks in our senior living communities,” said AZ Snyder, Health Officer. “Public Health is working closely with The Lodge at River Falls Comforts of Home staff to ensure everyone in the facility is closely monitored for symptoms. We have requested National Guard resources to assist with repeated testing in the facility to ensure we can identify any new cases quickly.”

Pierce County health hfficials say assisted living facilities have prepared for COVID-19 outbreaks by implementing the following activities:

  •  Restrict all indoor visitors except for compassionate care situations (for example, end-of-life).
  •  Restrict all volunteers and nonessential health care personnel (HCP).
  •  Actively screen all HCP for fever and symptoms before starting each shift; send them home if they are ill.
  •  Encourage residents who must regularly leave the facility for medically necessary purposes (for example, residents receiving hemodialysis) wear a face mask whenever they leave their room, including for procedures outside of the facility.

Residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been separated into a different wing of the building.

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