CORONAVIRUS

Residents of Cedar Rapids nursing home test positive for novel coronavirus

Two employees at Heritage Specialty Care tested positive earlier this week

Heritage Specialty Care in southwest Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Heritage Specialty Care in southwest Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Four residents of a Cedar Rapids nursing home have tested positive for COVID-19.

Heritage Specialty Care said officials learned Thursday four of its residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Two employees there had tested positive on Tuesday.

Details on the residents’ conditions were not released, but the affected residents were immediately separated from the rest of the population and will remain isolated for at least 14 days, according to a statement from West Des Moines-based Care Initiatives, which owns Heritage Specialty Care.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has been notified, officials said.

“Staff, residents and family members are being notified by Heritage administration of this latest development,” according to a statement sent Thursday evening to The Gazette.

“We have taken every precaution to protect our residents throughout the heightened COVID-19 awareness period. We continue to implement recommended infection control procedures to remain vigilant against further exposure.”

Family members of residents are encouraged to contact the facility at (319) 396-7171 with questions.

Heritage Specialty Care, 200 Clive Dr. SW, will continue “enhanced infection control and medical screening of all residents” — procedures that have been in effect since Tuesday.

The nursing home workers who tested positive were not identified, but officials said they did not have symptoms while at work. Officials had told The Gazette earlier in the week those two workers had not been inside the facility since Wednesday, March 18, and Friday, March 20 respectively.

Officials did not indicate the current condition of the two employees.

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Heritage Specialty Care began screening residents twice a day for fever or symptoms of a respiratory illness on Tuesday. In addition, employees had been screened for similar symptoms before entering the building, and visitors had been restricted.

Communal dining and activities were discontinued last week.

On Wednesday, a health care advocacy group confirmed four long-term care facilities across Iowa had seen cases of COVID-19 among staff and residents. At the time, only one resident and four employees had tested positive at facilities in Linn, Washington, Dubuque and Poweshiek counties.

Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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