18 coronavirus cases after building-wide tests at Winchester nursing home

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WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – A total of 18 people — 13 residents and five staff members — have tested positive for the coronavirus at Fountain Circle Nursing home in Winchester the home’s parent company, Signature Health said Monday.

The numbers include three cases confirmed last week.

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In the wake of those results and a statewide effort to test all nursing home staff and patients, Signature Health tested everyone at the facility.

“Over the past several weeks, Signature HealthCARE at Fountain
Circle has taken a proactive and aggressive approach against the Coronavirus and its related illness, COVID-19. That preparedness mandated being ready not for “if”, but “when” our facility faced a confirmed COVID-19 exposure,” the company said in a statement.

“From experience in using a facility-wide testing approach, we know that the first confirmed positive case numbers in a facility may be relatively low, but after all facility-wide testing results come in, the initial numbers may grow extensively, and quickly. Most test results do not come in all at once, but instead arrive periodically and in “batches.” This is common a
misunderstanding among outsiders – there is not an “outbreak” of the virus. Conversely, the numbers are the direct result of an intentional strategy to test everyone and respond in the most proactive manner possible,” the company explained.

“We’ve been working around the clock getting ready for COVID-19 – and we are ready, now that the day is here,” said Chris Cox, chief operating officer for Signature HealthCARE. “This is why we hired the experts we have on our team, including a new chief infectious disease
physician. Our intense preparations are effective, especially in this situation, with staff screening themselves and residents daily, and staff readily identifying anyone who might have the virus early and getting them sent out and tested right away.”

The responsible party or guardian of our residents were called personally about this testing and the results. This does not mean that all family members of every resident are notified. “It is our policy, which follows federal law, that only the responsible party or guardian of the resident is notified, briefed and counseled. Those family members who are not notified, are not the listed responsible party or guardian of our resident(s). It is up to the responsible party or guardian to decide whether or not to notify other
family members,” the company advised.

“Signature is grateful for families’ patience in minimizing contact with their loved ones to help prevent the spread of this virus, and for their understanding in knowing that all healthcare providers are facing this crisis. No one is insulated,” said E. Joseph Steier, III, president and CEO
of Signature HealthCARE. “Signature sincerely appreciates all of the tireless work and commitment of its community, and the best stakeholders, who serve some of the most vulnerable residents anywhere 24/7. We are beyond grateful to have a collaborative team ready to serve during the most challenging time ever for Signature.”