The novel coronavirus outbreak at the Marquis Hope Village Post-Acute Rehab center has spread beyond staff and residents into the surrounding communities, contact tracing by county public health officials has confirmed.
At least 23 people who do not live or work at the Canby long-term care facility have been infected with Covid-19 by those that do, according to the Oregon Health Authority’s latest weekly report, released Wednesday.
Referred to by OHA as “close contacts,” these people may be spouses, children, relatives, roommates or others closely associated with those who work at Marquis Hope Village. One way or another, their cases have been linked to the current outbreak there.
“Due to new, aggressive state measures on contact tracing and then testing of any known person who has been in direct contact with an individual who has tested positive, the county has been testing families of the staff at our facility and any of their contacts,” April Diaz, vice president of clinical services for Marquis Companies, told the Canby Now Podcast. “Unfortunately, some of these family members are also testing positive and are now isolating in their homes.”
At least 92 cases had been linked to the facility as of Sunday, June 14, which includes the 69 cases of staff members and residents that were previously reported.
It is, by far, the largest outbreak at a long-term care facility that is currently considered active and second-largest all-time behind only the infamous Foster Creek — a Southeast Portland facility the state shut down last month after it was linked to 119 cases and 29 deaths. It has since been the target of millions in lawsuits from residents’ families.
The outbreak includes 33 of the 38 residents that were living at the post-acute rehab center when the outbreak began in June 4. All seven deaths have been residents.
The facility has declined to give ages or specific underlying conditions for residents who have passed, citing privacy concerns, but admits that all residents at the facility have some form of underlying conditions. They are, in the words of Diaz, “medically fragile” — and hence, more susceptible to the coronavirus.
“Many have chronic conditions that put them at high risk for their health to rapidly change,” Diaz told the CNP in an earlier interview. “Sadly, when they are infected with the coronavirus, because of the nature of the infection, they often don’t have the strength to fight it.”
Marquis has also not confirmed if any of the deceased residents were previously on hospice, or if any of the more recent deaths had been hospitalized for Covid-19, saying only that, for each resident, care staff follow medical orders that include their primary care providers’ specific treatment and advanced care plans, as well as instructions about what to do or not do during an emergency.
“The form asks questions so that the clinical care team can carry out the wishes set forth by the residents and/or families,” Diaz said. “These wishes may include no further hospitalization, less invasive medical interventions, or do not resuscitate. In the case of each of our residents who have passed, the clinical team was following the residents’ and/or families’ directive.”
Fortunately, the outbreak appears to have not spread to the adjacent Marquis Hope Village Assisted Living Facility, which is located in the same building and has approximately 74 residents and 46 dedicated staff members. All have tested negative for the virus as of Monday.
Licensing staff from the Oregon Department of Human Services is making on-site visits to the facility at least once a week to monitor infection control practices, personal protective equipment supplies and staffing levels, according to Elisa Williams, a spokeswoman for DHS.
“DHS, [Oregon Health Authority] and the local public health authority will continue to have frequent contacts with the facility,” she said, “to ensure residents’ care needs are being met and residents and staff, who are not infected — including those in the adjacent assisted living facility — aren’t at risk.”