After week lockdown, Fair Haven staffer tests negative twice

SIDNEY – The Fair Haven employee who tested positive for COVID-19 has tested negative twice within a week of the initial positive test, according to facility administrators.

According to Executive Director Anita Miller, Fair Haven has been in contact with the employee who was put on mandatory quarantine last week due to testing positive for COVID-19. Within seven days, that employee had received a second and third test, administered by Lima Memorial, and received a negative result on the last two.

Miller said all potentially-exposed family of this employee also have been tested and their results were all negative. The potentially-exposed Fair Haven employee, who is also on a precautionary quarantine but tested negative on July 2, also has not shown any signs or symptoms since the quarantine began.

Fair Haven leadership has taken into account the facts of this case and believe it to be a false positive, officials said. Out of more than 100 tests done by the National Guard at the facility on July 2, this employee’s was the only positive, which the facility said is odd when compared with other testing scenarios.

“Fair Haven having a single asymptomatic positive in a group this large, with no signs or symptoms among those potentially exposed, seems inconsistent with other facilities that have gotten results,” Miller said. “This scenario does not fit with the data we have seen from the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which we have used to build our COVID-19 policies.”

There have been no suspected symptoms of COVID-19 among other employees or the residents. This employee never exhibited symptoms and no other potentially-infected persons have either.

According to CDC guidelines and Fair Haven’s own COVID-19 policies, both quarantined employees are cleared to return to work on July 20 with no restrictions.

CDC back-to-work guidance allows for a time-based strategy for allowing formerly COVID-positive employees to return to work safely. The guidance states employees should be barred from work until “10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.”

Miller said this employee already was asymptomatic and has not developed symptoms. She added that, out of an abundance of caution, she and the employee agreed on a return-to-work date of July 20, the standard 14-day length of COVID quarantine. The potentially-exposed employee also will return that same day.

“Our staff have done excellent work in prevention and screening during the pandemic,” Miller said. “The employees that have been forcibly quarantined as a result of the testing have been cheerful but eager to return to work safely. They will be able to do so on July 20, and we are excited to have them back.”