The Birmingham Green senior living facility in Manassas announced Thursday it has 19 cases of COVID-19, including 10 residents and nine staff members.
Without disclosing the condition of the 10 residents, the release said that infected staff have been self-isolating outside the facility or have already completed a 14-day quarantine.
“We also have residents and staff who are under investigation and are isolating as a precautionary effort,” the statement noted. “We have implemented recommended processes to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities.”
Visitors have been barred from the facility since March and the facility has been temperature-checking everyone who enters the facility for weeks, according to Birmingham Green President Thomas Dodson.
Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that coronavirus testing criteria would be expanded to include testing anyone who enters a senior care facility with the help of Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia. The statement from Birmingham Green, however, did not indicate that such procedures were yet in place.
Staff members have been getting fitted for N95 masks over the last week, but the press release does not indicate how many masks the facility has on hand. According to the release, residents are monitored each shift for COVID-19 symptoms. All residents have received masks and all staff are required to wear some form of mask while inside the center.
Of the state’s 168 documented outbreaks (meaning two or more cases in one spot), 92 have been in long-term care facilities, according to the Virginia Department of Health. In the Prince William Health District, which encompasses Manassas and Manassas Park, there have been six total outbreaks, five in such facilities.
Speaking with InsideNoVa last week, after the first cases at the facility were reported, Dodson stressed productive communication with residents about what was going on, so as to limit the spread of unconfirmed rumors. But he acknowledged it was a scary time for residents of any long-term care facility.
“People like to talk, they do, and that’s part of the thing you try to do, is strike up that relationship and give people an opportunity to talk in a productive way,” he said.
On its website, the facility is listing items it is requesting for donation, including fresh flowers, 100-piece puzzles, snacks and canned sodas.