By Shereen Siewert
Five patients at Mount View Care Center in Wausau have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a North Central Health Care release.
All five residents who tested positive Friday reside in a single unit of the facility, officials said.
Officials say virus testing was currently underway at Mount View in the Southshore Post-acute Care unit, as recently required by the Marathon County Health Department due to a Covid-19 positive employee reported on July 19. The unit was under isolation precautions to prevent the spread of illness and outdoor visitation was restricted for residents of the unit, officials said.
The first round of testing resulted in all negative Covid-19 results for residents and staff. The second round of testing resulted in the five Covid-19 positive residents. Testing will continue every 3 to 7 days.
All visitation at Mount View Care Center and Pine Crest Nursing Home is canceled until further notice to focus staffing on the direct care of residents and preventing the spread of illness. This includes all forms of outdoor, patio and window visits.
Virtual visits will continue. Indoor visitation has been restricted since March.
“We know that the decision to restrict our outdoor visitation will be difficult for families and loved ones, however based on the high level of community spread currently in our counties of service, we believe this decision is in the best interest of our residents, staff and visitors,” said Michael Loy, CEO of NCHC. “We strongly encourage everyone in our community to continue wearing masks while in public, practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings. The actions you take every day to prevent the spread of Covid-19 can make a difference in preventing our most vulnerable populations from contracting this virus.”
In total since March, North Central Health Care has reported three Covid-19 positive employees at Mount View Care Center, two employees at Pine Crest Nursing Home and one employee in Community Treatment in Wausau, a community-based mental and behavioral health program.
Through contact tracing, all cases reported in employees are believed to be unrelated and contracted through community spread. Mount View Care Center currently provides care for 162 residents. Pine Crest has a current census of 123 residents and no Covid-19 positive residents.
In a news release, NCHC officials said the organization took precautions early in March, before recommendations were provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on preventing the spread of Covid-19, including:
- Restricting visitation inside all NCHC nursing homes, inpatient behavioral health and group homes
- Implementing emergency zone restrictions on the Wausau Campus to limit foot traffic and exposure
- Requiring masks at all times by staff and patients
- Implementing screening of all staff upon arrival, including temperature monitoring
- Monitoring vitals of residents multiple times per day
NCHC officials say they will continue working with local health officials for continued Covid-19 testing of residents and staff. For families with questions and concerns, please visit our website at www.norcen.org/Family and www.norcen.org/Covid-19 for contacts and updated information.