The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Third care facility reports positives


Last updated 8/18/2020 at 4:03pm

CLOVIS — A third area long-term care facility has reported COVID-19 positive cases, and one of the original two facilities has reported additional positive tests.

In addition, on Monday Curry County reported its third death related to COVID-19.

Statewide, only 95 new cases of the virus were reported on Monday, the lowest single-day total in nearly two months.

Texas Panhandle numbers also are declining with Parmer and Bailey counties reporting just 16 cases combined over the past five days.

The Curry County death was identified by the Department of Health as a man in his 40s with underlying medical conditions. It was the first Curry County death related to the virus since July 24.

St. Anthony Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Clovis over the weekend reported three COVID-19 positive tests among its employees.

“I can assure you that we are working round the clock to keep our residents healthy and as safe as possible,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Feifer said. “We are doing everything in our power — and everything medical experts know of at this time — to protect our residents and employees.”

The first positive, Feifer said, was discovered as part of routine testing conducted in early August. A round of 100% testing resulted in a positive case for a staff member and a care liaison, and both were asymptomatic. Another 100% testing round was scheduled for Tuesday.

The facility, Feifer said, is screening residents and patients for symptoms three times a day, with screening and temperature checks of all staff upon entry. The facility has canceled all outside medical appointments except those deemed necessary, time-sensitive and life-saving such as dialysis and chemotherapy.

Retirement Ranch confirmed to The News on Monday that two additional employees from its facility have tested positive.

Trisha Gross, social services director for Retirement Ranch, said an employee who was asymptomatic tested positive Aug. 8 as part of its 25% routine testing. A 100% testing of staff and residents that followed resulted in another positive test. The second employee, also asymptomatic, was on leave and came to the facility only to complete the test.

The facility was waiting on additional test kits for another 100% testing round this week.

For both facilities, the employees will remain out until they are cleared under Department of Health guidelines.

In its daily COVID-19 case update, the Department of Health maintains a list of any long-term care facilities with at least one positive COVID-19 test for residents or staff in the past 28 days. Retirement Ranch was placed on the list July 11, while Wheatfields Senior Living joined the list July 30.

The state has announced 23,500 positive COVID-19 tests as of Monday, with 718 deaths, 119 hospitalizations and 10,602 recovered cases. Curry County has 597 confirmed cases with 208 recoveries, while Roosevelt County has 175 confirmed cases and 61 recoveries.


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