Country Side Residents, Staff Being Tested as Needed; Number of Confirmed Cases Remains at 5

Many have asked for an update on the critical situation at Country Side Living, the location of the first confirmed outbreak of the novel coronavirus at a Canby long-term care facility. Fortunately, the old adage holds true: No news is good news.

Michele Quinn, the facility’s human resources manager, tells the Canby Now Podcast that there are currently no plans to test all residents and staff in the facility. Country Side has received an allotment of Covid-19 testing kits, which they are administering only when requested by each resident’s physician.

Staff are following a somewhat similar route, and are being tested only if they receive tests from their primary care provider.

“So far, the news is good: No additional positives,” Quinn reported Thursday afternoon.

The relative quiet of the past couple days is welcome news. Those who are older and more infirm are known to be at higher risk for complications from Covid-19, and care facilities — where large numbers of this more vulnerable population live in close quarters — have been the sites of many of the state and nation’s worst outbreaks.

The first positive, confirmed Sunday morning in a resident who was transported to the hospital by Canby Fire District, was quickly followed the next day by news of four more: two additional residents and two employees.

In the immediate aftermath of the first confirmed case, the facility, with the assistance of Canby Fire, Clackamas County Public Health and others, scrambled to acquire the needed personal protective equipment, or PPE, that would be needed to protect staff and residents from further spread of the virus.

They had some PPE on hand, but had been unable to acquire some of the most critical pieces, including gowns and N95 respirators, which they’d had on back-order for over a month. Quinn and Administrator Jody Vega, have been in touch with county public health officials to review the latest recommendations and guidelines on the use of PPE, and staff have received additional training as well.

“We are well stocked now, and our employees as well as residents are very well protected,” Quinn said. “We continue to pray and stay vigilant in our efforts to fight this.”

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