After almost two months, the state’s second-largest outbreak of Covid-19 at a long-term care facility has been resolved. As of Tuesday, Marquis Hope Village Post-Acute Rehab reports that all residents and employees who tested positive for the novel coronavirus are now considered recovered.
“Currently, we have no active symptomatic cases of coronavirus at Marquis Hope Village,” Marquis Companies Vice President of Clinical Services April Diaz told the Canby Now Podcast in an email. “All residents and staff are considered fully resolved per CDC guidelines.”
The outbreak officially began with test results that were confirmed on June 2, but Marquis officials now know the virus was widespread throughout the facility by then. The earliest known instance of the virus was an employee who showed symptoms on May 31 and later tested positive for the coronavirus, but Marquis and county public health officials have said the asymptomatic spread in this case was so wide that it would be impossible to trace to a single point of origin.
Marquis implemented an aggressive testing regimen that included all residents and staff — not only at Post-Acute Rehab but also the adjacent assisted living facility. Fortunately, the virus had not spread there, but it was rampant in the rebab facility.
A total of 112 would eventually test positive, including 33 residents, 43 staff members and 36 “close contacts” of employees (most likely family members or housemates).
Eleven deaths have been linked to the outbreak — all believed to be residents, though the company was able to confirm this for only nine. The other two happened outside the Canby facility, either a resident who died at the hospital or at home, or a death that was discovered through contact tracing.
In the state of Oregon, only the infamous Healthcare at Foster Creek saw more cases (120) and deaths (34). The nursing home in Southeast Portland was shut down by the state in May, and has since been the target of millions of dollars in litigation by victims’ families.
Based on lessons learned in the Canby outbreak, Marquis Companies, which owns and operates 25 assisted living facilities in Oregon, Nevada and California, has adopted a testing regimen even stricter than the governor’s new guidelines for long-term care facilities, including weekly testing of surfaces and high-touch areas.
The other key to Marquis limiting the spread of the virus was the heroic diligence of the facility’s staff, according to Marquis President and CEO Phil Fogg Jr.
“The term ‘hero’ gets thrown around, sometimes a little too generously, but in this environment, what our team members have been working through — there’s no other word for it,” Fogg told the Canby Now Podcast in May. “I think the world of them.”
Early in the outbreak, some employees who tested positive but were asymptomatic continued to work with Covid-positive residents, while others put themselves at risk to provide care to the sick.
Marquis was able to address staffing shortages by shifting staff from other facilities within the company, including 16 employees who agreed to temporarily relocate to a new memory care wing — which had finished construction, but had not yet been licensed to open before the pandemic hit.
These employees committed to at least three weeks of living at the Marquis Hope Village campus full-time, and assisting the regular staff in any way they could.