by CHRIS ROGERS
A staff member at Winona Health’s Lake Winona Manor nursing home tested positive for COVID-19; the staff member is in isolation, and it is the only case of the virus at the nursing home, Winona Health officials reported today.
Winona Health Senior Services Administrator Linda Atkinson wrote in an emailed statement that the staff member tested positive on May 19. The news came out today because the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) today listed Lake Winona Manor as a facility with an outbreak of COVID-19 for the first time. That list includes all long-term care facilities with one confirmed case of COVID-19 or more.
“A Lake Winona Manor staff member working with guest residents on our quarantine unit tested positive for COVID-19 after noting symptoms and being immediately sent for testing,” Atkinson wrote. “Residents and their family members were notified when we learned of this on May 19. Because of the heightened PPE [personal protective equipment] in use on the quarantine unit, there would have been a low risk of transmission. This staff member had no contact with Lake Winona Manor residents and they are currently self-isolating per recommendations. All Lake Winona Manor residents have been tested and none have tested positive.”
Atkinson stated that all staff members have been tested, as well. The one COVID-19-positive staff member remains the only case of the virus at Lake Winona Manor, she reported.
In April, Lake Winona Manor came to the aid of Sauer Health Care, a Winona nursing home where the virus infected dozens of residents and staff. An empty wing at Lake Winona Manor took in residents from Sauer Health Care that had, at the time, tested negative for the new coronavirus.
If it is not successfully contained, COVID-19 can be tragically destructive in long-term care facilities. The outbreak at Sauer Health Care accounted for at least 14 of Winona County’s 15 COVID-19 deaths, and across Minnesota, long-term care facilities make up roughly 80 percent of the state’s deaths from the virus, according to the MDH. However, numerous nursing homes have successfully contained outbreaks to only one or two cases.