CORONAVIRUS

Willow Gardens Care Center in Marion reports coronavirus outbreak

11 residents, staff tested positive at nursing home

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Corona
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (CDC via AP)

Another long-term care facility in Linn County has reported an outbreak of the novel coronavirus among residents and staff.

Willow Gardens Care Center in Marion has 11 residents and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, the Linn County Public Health announced Thursday. Those individuals all tested positive between June 5 and June 9.

No deaths are associated with this outbreak, county public health officials said.

Willow Gardens Care Center, located at 455 31st St. in Marion, is the sixth long-term care facility in Linn County to report an outbreak of COVID-19, which is defined as three or more positive cases among residents of a facility.

According to public health officials, COVID-19 spreads easily in settings where people live close together — such as a senior living center. In addition, older adults are at increased risk of severe complications from a COVID-19 infection.

Two long-term care facilities — Heritage Specialty Care and Cottage Grove Place, both in Cedar Rapids — have since recovered from the outbreak after seeing no new cases for 28 days.

Affected residents at Willow Gardens Care Center are in isolation for 14 days.

“We have been and continue to do everything we can to ensure we stop the spread of this virus within our facility and have increased our emergency response procedures,” said Casey Kann, Willow Gardens Care Center administrator, said in a news release. “We are working with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps at this time. At this point, all precautions will remain in place within the building until the virus has been eradicated.”

The facility’s leadership has notified residents and their families of the outbreak, according to the news release.

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“We are in constant contact with our families and are doing everything we can to support them,” Kann said.

Linn County Public Health officials encourage individuals to continue washing their hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, wear a cloth face mask and practice physical distancing of 6 feet.

Comments: (319) 398-8469; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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