As of May 27, 2020, Heritage Specialty Care, a long term care facility in Linn County, has recovered from the COVID-19 outbreak which began impacting the facility in late March 2020. Recovery is defined as no new cases for two consecutive incubation periods, or 28 days.
Heritage was the first long term care facility in Linn County to experience an outbreak of COVID-19. A total of 114 residents and staff tested positive for COVID-19, 85 individuals recovered, and 26 residents died.
After identification of the outbreak, Linn County Public Health and Heritage Specialty Care worked diligently to stop the spread of COVID-19, with assistance from the Iowa Department of Public Health. Heritage Specialty Care implemented measures to prevent spread of the virus; such as limiting visitors, screening staff and residents for symptoms of COVID-19, changing workflows to prevent infection of well residents, and implementing additional infection prevention practices. Additionally, testing capacity, personal protective equipment or PPE, and staffing needs were regularly assessed.
“We are grateful that our staff and residents are again healthy and we appreciate the support of Linn County Public Health during this outbreak. I would also like to thank our dedicated staff who made it possible for Heritage to work through such a difficult situation” said Nick Jedlicka, Heritage Specialty Care Administrator.
COVID-19 spreads easily and rapidly in settings where people live close together. Older adults and those with underlying chronic medical conditions are at increased risk of severe complications or death due to COVID-19 infection. Therefore, residents of long term care facilities are at increased risk of severe illness or death.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the community and to high risk individuals such as those living in long term care facilities, everyone must do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes washing hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when you are sick, no matter how mild the illness, continue social distancing by maintaining 6 feet between people, and wearing a cloth face covering or mask when social distancing is not possible.
For more information on COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or visit www.LinnCounty.org/COVID19.
Linn County Public Health, an agency within Linn County government, serves more than 225,000 residents of Linn County to prevent disease and injury, promote healthy living, protect the environment, and ensure public health preparedness. Learn more at linncounty.org/health or by calling 319-892-6000. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LCPublicHealth and follow us on Twitter @LCPublicHealth.