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25 COVID-19 cases linked to Ashland nursing home

25 COVID-19 cases linked to Ashland nursing home

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More than two dozen recent coronavirus cases have been linked to residents and employees of a nursing home in Ashland, prompting the facility to move several patients into quarantine.

A total of 18 residents and seven employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at Azria Health Ashland despite "strict adherence to all CDC and local health department guidelines," a spokeswoman for the company said.

Carrie Ramaekers, Azria Health's vice president of operations, said a majority of the individuals who have tested positive for the respiratory virus are not symptomatic.

The nursing home, part of a company that operates rehabilitation and long-term care facilities in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas, is working with the Nebraska Infection Control Assessment and Promotion Program to test and quarantine residents in order to prevent further spread, Raemaekers wrote in an email.

Residents confirmed positive have been relocated to either a quarantine area recommended by the infection control program or have been accommodated at Azria Health Ashland, and employees have been directed to quarantine at home.

Ramaekers said Azria Health is working to keep family members updated about the outbreak.

According to the Center for Medicaid Services, which tracks COVID-19 cases in nursing homes across the country, Azria Health Ashland has had only one confirmed case of COVID-19 and five suspected cases before Sept. 6, the last day numbers have been reported.

Ramaekers said Azria Health Ashland has had two on-site infection control surveys by CMS "in which the facility was found to be fully in compliance with all infection control procedures."

Since CMS began tracking COVID-19 in nursing homes in May, there have been 665 confirmed cases and 791 suspected among residents of Nebraska facilities, according to the federal agency's latest data, including 15 confirmed cases and 68 suspected cases across Azria’s eight Nebraska facilities.

Nearly 200 of Nebraska’s 442 deaths have been tied to nursing and assisted-living facilities.

Coronavirus cases have been spiking over the last month in Saunders County, where the Azria Health Ashland facility is located, with the number of positive cases doubling from 40 two weeks ago to 92 last week. The county now has 389 confirmed cases, according to the Three Rivers Public Health Department's online dashboard.

Statewide, there are more than 41,000 cases of COVID-19.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS

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