The coronavirus’ deadly fallout in some Franklin Parish nursing homes can be seen in Monday’s data released by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).
LDH released the information after six-weeks of being mute on the subject. Numbers show a mixed story with two homes recording deaths and multiple infections while two homes apparently are yet to be touched by the virus.
The LDH information includes number of cases among both residents and staff, as well as numbers of resident deaths and is updated weekly.
Last week, Franklin Parish Coroner’s office spokesperson, Shane Scott, reported four COVID-19 deaths in Franklin Parish were residents in local nursing homes.
“The situation was never out of control,” Scott said. “Franklin Parish facilities started taking precautions before they had a known case but this was an inevitable reality.”
Scott listed several factors leading to the residents’ deaths.
“Nursing home residents live closely together,” Scott said. “They likely have underlying conditions and that makes them vulnerable to life-threatening complications.”
Plantation Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was hardest hit, according to LDH’s report. Twenty of the 50 residents were infected with three succumbing to the virus at the Wisner nursing home. Eight staff were reported with COVID-19.
Jared Eley, administrator of Plantation Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, said the nursing home received their first positive test March 15. Since then, his staff has been aggressively testing each resident.
“We have tested each resident and test every negative (result) weekly,” Eley said. “Our numbers have a lot to do with our small size and our confined area.”
Additionally, Eley now calls residents’ family members three times a week with updates on their loved ones.
Winnsboro’s Plantation Manor Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation had
the highest resident count in Franklin Parish at 120. According to LDH, the nursing home had four reported COVID-19 cases with one death. Three staff members suffered from the virus.
Keith Ferrington, administrator of Plantation Manor Skilled Nursing Rehabilitation, said two of the four residents with the virus have recovered and two staff members who were affected are scheduled to return to work later this week.
“We are encouraged by what we are doing and seem to be managing the virus in the building,” Ferrington said. “We have been very proactive in stopping the spread of the virus.”
Ferrington also said all residents have been tested and staff testing will take place in the next few days.
Mary Anna Nursing Home in Wisner reported no cases of COVID-19 in their residents or staff, according to LDH. The home has 39 residents.
“We’ve been blessed,” said Candace Sanders, Mary Anna Nursing Home administrator. “Before staff comes in, we take their temperature, wash hands, and we wear our masks. We are also very particular in letting people come back from the hospital unless they have tested negative (for COVID-19).”
Sanders also credits having a small residency and staff number at her facility.
“Most of our residences stay in a single room,” Sanders said.
Legacy Nursing and Rehabilitation of Winnsboro has 72 residents and also reported no coronavirus among its residents or staff, according to LDH.
“We are doing everything the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and state have recommended,” said Chris Thornton, Legacy administrator. “Our employees have done well with guidelines we have set forth. We will continue to practice our very strict guidelines and continue the battle.”
Statewide, the home with the highest number of known infections is Highland Place Rehab and Nursing Center in Shreveport. The home reported 124 cases and 17 deaths.
Meanwhile, Franklin Parish’s reported 274 COVID-19 cases and nine virus-related deaths, according to a May 19 LDH report.
Statewide, the case count reached 35,038. LDH is also reporting 26,249
“presumed” recoveries, an increase of 3,641 from last week’s figures.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations currently stands at 1,004 while there are 112 patients on ventilators.
At press time, 278,073 tests have been completed in Louisiana, either through the state lab (12,432) or commercial lab (265,641), according to LDH.
Regionally, Richland Parish reported 108 cases and two deaths, and Catahoula Parish reported 106 COVID-19 cases and three deaths.
Fifty cases were reported in Caldwell Parish while Tensas Parish had five reported cases, according to LDH. Madison Parish reported 27 cases. Caldwell, Tensas or Madison parishes have no COVID-19 related deaths.