Mt. Vernon Nursing Home Sees Surge in COVID-19 Cases

Since the outbreak was first reported last week, there now 20 residents and seven staff who have tested positive for the virus.

Posted: Oct 5, 2020 9:22 PM

As Coronavirus numbers continue to rise across the Tri-State, some communities are facing new threats.

Like in Posey County, Indiana, which for months, made it through the pandemic without a single case at a long term care facility.

On September 29, however; the county saw its first nursing home numbers.

"We did have our first case with a fairly significant outbreak in Mount Vernon," Health Officer for the Posey County Health Department Dr. Kyle Rapp said.

At that time, the health department confirmed that 10 residents and five staff at Mt. Vernon Nursing and Rehabilitation had COVID-19.

"We believe, unfortunately, with the case in Mount Vernon it was an employee who unknowingly came down with it and therefore brought it to the facility," Dr. Rapp said. "By the time they had had symptoms and got tested, there had already been an exposure there."

Since the outbreak was first reported last week, there are now 20 residents and seven staff members who have tested positive for the virus.

Marilyn Axton is a former employee at the facility. She said she was shocked when she heard the numbers.

"That's sad," she said. "That's people coming in and giving it, or the workers bring it in because the patients do not get out."

At 75, she knows all to well that the risk is high for the elderly, and believes the recent lift on visitation restrictions should be scaled back.

"You just have to stay away from the elderly," Axton said. "When my daughter was exposed to it she wouldn't even come home to me; she'd say 'Momma I'm not going to take that chance in giving it to you'."

While the health department does not believe the spike is tied to the county's current outside visitation policy, as temperatures drop -- and cases rise -- those facilities might have to close their doors once again.

Dr. Rapp said the possibility of outside visitations might not be feasible as we head into the winter months.

"If the increase continues then we would have to consider how we would allow visitations inside, if they are in fact continued to be allowed," he said.

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