Covid at the Manor

Outbreak in a nursing home facility defined by one case

A positive COVID-19 case was reported at Madison Valley Manor (MVM) late last week.

MVM leadership, Madison County Public Health Department (MCPHD) and representatives from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) met to discuss the positive result, as is required when positives are found in nursing home facilities.

“We use a rapid test to test our residents and our employees on a regular basis and we have adequate staffing. Our staff wear full PPE. Our residents are staying in their rooms,” Madison County Public Information Officer Bonnie O’Neill said, and continued explaining procedures after a case has been identified. “There’s an isolation area that’s been established there in the Manor. The staff are very well trained. We’ve got an infectious control nurse (Erin Covis, RN) that works in each nursing home for the county.”

MVM relaxed restrictions on visitors just before the positive case was identified. A sunroom in the south end of the facility was turned into a visiting room for residents’ families. After the positive result, the facility will go into lockdown, restricting visitors.

According to the CDC, outbreak definitions are relative to local context.

A COVID-19 outbreak indicates increased transmission in a location, requiring a greater need for investigations and contact tracing done by MCPHD. An outbreak is also dependent on factors such as duration and proximity of exposure and the susceptibility of individuals to COVID-19.

Madison County Public Health Nurse Melissa Brummell explained that an outbreak in a nursing home facility is defined by one staff member or one resident testing positive for COVID-19, and this definition is set in part by the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS) that serves as an administrative agency for nursing home facilities.

The timing of the positive case and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations reaching MVM was unfortunate, Brummell explained. MVM residents started receiving the vaccination on Jan. 7. Brummell said it takes a couple of weeks after the first vaccination for it to be about 50% effective.

“Unfortunately…we can be incubating a virus before that vaccine so it’s only going to help for the future once that vaccine is effective,” Brummell said.

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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