SIDNEY – A part-time employee tested positive for COVID-19 at Fair Haven during the National Guard testing on July 2, the lone positive case found out of more than 100 tests that were conducted at the facility.
The part-time, evening-shift employee who tested positive had no signs or symptoms and always passed the screenings that are done before starting each shift, so the positive result was a shock to the facility, Fair Haven administrators said. This employee never had a temperature out of the normal limits and has had no symptoms of any illness since March, let alone COVID-19.
The employee does not interface with residents and was immediately put on a mandatory two-week quarantine at home.
Due to this employee’s work schedule, there is only one other employee who may have been exposed. That employee tested negative with the National Guard but also has been placed on a mandatory two-week quarantine out of precaution.
Both employees are in contact with health authorities for monitoring. The facility has spoken with both employees over the phone and both are asymptomatic and do not need hospital care.
Residents still are dining in their rooms, wearing masks regularly if leaving their rooms, getting daily temperatures taken and only coming out for socially-distanced activity programs and window visits with family. Fair Haven has not been instructed to add further restrictions to their daily lives.
Fair Haven was informed by the Health Department that the risk of infection is very low, administrators said. Fair Haven will continue screening practices for all employees and is staying in touch with authorities. The staff member who tested positive has been very understanding and respectful of the guidelines, as has the potentially-exposed staff member quarantined at home, administrators said.
Fair Haven has taken this pandemic seriously since the first moment that Gov. Mike DeWine closed nursing homes to visitation and instituted COVID-specific procedures, administrators said.
Certified Infection Control Preventionist Linda Wiley has handled COVID-19 screening efforts at Fair Haven since the lockdown began.
“We are continuing to monitor our resident temperatures daily and taking all necessary precautions,” Wiley said. “The level of risk is minimal because the employee’s job duties did not require being near any residents and nearly no other staff. We have good reason for not anticipating any spread in this case.”
“Fair Haven, like many other long-term care facilities, cares for a population of people highly susceptible to COVID-19, along with other common maladies like the flu,” Executive Director Anita Miller said. “Our infection control policies and procedures have been in place for a long while and have been effective at cutting nearly all infection in-house during the quarantine, thanks to the hard work of our staff and of ICP Linda Wiley.
“We have been staying in touch by phone with the employee with the positive result and been offering encouragement and guidance,” Miller added. “I would encourage our entire community to focus on hand-washing, social distancing and also spreading kindness during these frightening times. It is easy to be dehumanized by quarantines, but kindness can be effective even at a safe social distance.”