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Some 14 Coronavirus Cases Confirmed At One Parma Senior Care Facility

Cuyahoga County health officials are investigating a cluster of COVID-19 cases at ManorCare Health Services on W Sprague Rd. [Marlene Harris-Taylor / ideastream]
Cuyahoga County health officials are investigating a cluster of COVID-19 cases at ManorCare Health Services W Sprague Rd.

Fourteen patients and employees at ManorCare Health Services in Parma have tested positive for COVID-19.

ManorCare officials released more information late Wednesday about the situation in the senior care facility to “help clarify what a cluster of positive cases means,” officials said in a news release.

Four sick patients, who tested positive, are being treated at hospitals. One patient is being treated at ManorCare on W. Sprague Road in what officials called isolation.

Nine employees, who also tested positive, are in quarantine outside of the facility, according to the news release.

“We take the management and infection control of COVID-19 in our facility very seriously and continue to monitor and screen our patients and employees and keep any patients who are potential high risk in our airborne isolation unit,” officials said in a written statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Cuyahoga County Board of Health officials held a media briefing, but declined to share any details about the ongoing investigation into the cluster of cases at the senior care facility.

The board has been investigating the cases at ManorCare for a few weeks, said Dr. Heidi Gullett, county medical director. The public was not informed about the possibility of multiple cases in one senior facility until late Tuesday when the health board and ManorCare issued a joint news release.

“It’s an active public health investigation, so I don’t have any specifics on what I can give you in regards to case counts, but I can tell you that we are working closely with them on understanding the scope,” Gullett said.

“We know that the frail and elderly are especially susceptible to this virus. That’s why we are in close communication with our local health department, CDC and CMS to ensure we have the latest information and resources available,” said ManorCare in a written statement.

Senior facilities, like ManorCare, are very familiar with dealing with infectious diseases around fragile populations, said Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner Terry Allan, at the media briefing on Wednesday.

The company is following the guidelines and protocols set up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to minimize concerns in their institutions, said Allan.

“We are talking about people’s parents and their grandparents, and their neighbors and their friends, and so we want to make sure that we’re being sensitive to those issues, and also protective of private health information as we go forward in moving through this response," he said.

ManorCare officials said some of the steps being taken to minimize risk associated with COVID-19 in the facility include: increasing cleaning and sanitation, not admitting any new people, and regularly checking all the residents for symptoms of the virus.

Marlene Harris-Taylor
Marlene is the director of engaged journalism at Ideastream Public Media.