BEAVER TWP., Ohio (WYTV) – Of the local nursing home facilities listed by the state as having cases of COVID-19, The Inn at Glenellen in Beaver Township has seen more than any other so far.
Sixteen positive cases of coronavirus was reported at the facility, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Owners of the facility said the numbers by themselves can be misleading, however.
“That number includes employees that have tested positive, and some of them have come back to work already. They’ve recovered,” said owner Ed Reese.
Ed and Diane Reese operate seven nursing homes in the area, and Glenellen is the only one of their facilities with COVID-19 victims. They believe they’ve already seen the peak of illness.
“We see a light at the end of the tunnel, and you know, currently only have one resident in isolation who is coming out of isolation tomorrow,” said Diane Reese.
The following letter was sent to Glenellen families Thursday morning explaining the situation there:
As most of you already know, the Ohio Department of Health has released the names of facilities with positive COVID-19 cases and the number of reported cases. The number of cases is going to be alarming to see, but since our first case, we have been in contact with each of you to make sure you are aware of the pandemic’s effect on our facility. Our community is truly a family and this is why we feel the virus affected such a number of people here, due to the sense of community and time everyone spent with each other. Social distancing is the hardest thing to do here for our residents, but they understand why we are doing it.
We continue to work daily with the Mahoning County Health Department and have welcomed the Center for Disease Control (CDC) into our building for additional guidance. During the visit, the CDC had very few modifications to be made and actually were very pleased with the steps we have taken and continue to take. We are also currently working with reputable and FDA approved cleaning companies to reinforce the deep cleaning practices our staff have implemented.
We could not have taken control of this situation without your support and understanding. We continue to follow the guidance of the Ohio Department of Health, the CDC, The Mahoning County Board of Health and Governor Dewine’s Office.
We currently have no active COVID cases in our building and are not returning anyone from the hospital or any other facilities without 2 negative test results, as recommended by the CDC.
The Reeses said they took action to address the outbreak six weeks ago.
“As soon as a resident would show signs or symptoms, we’d put them in isolation immediately,” said Diane Reese.
Of the 61 apartments at Glenellen, many house married couples who didn’t want to be separated.
“Of course, they’re in their elderly years, and they want to be together,” Ed Reese said.
Over the weekend, Glenellen was one of four facilities visited by a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state, offering guidance and advice.
“They really could only say that to continue what we were doing because we were doing everything appropriately,” Diane said.
Even though they believe the worst is over, they admit that it has been a battle every day and hope the state will be careful as it eases restrictions.
Management of Windsor House, where cases were reported at many of their facilities, also released a statement earlier this week.
President John Masternick said the company is taking aggressive measures to combat the spread of the virus.
Windsor House has been committed to taking every precaution possible for the health and safety of our staff members and residents.
From the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been working closely with our State and Local Health Departments and stringently following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. We have taken aggressive measures to prevent the spread of the virus and remain diligent in our protocol of disinfection and sanitization treatment at our communities as well as surveillance of staff and residents for flu and sickness symptoms.
We have asked our staff, if they are feeling sick or someone in their home is sick, to stay at home and self-quarantine.
All staff are screened for symptoms and temperatures are taken at the start of their shift. Employees have been wearing masks and other personal protective equipment while caring for residents, and visitors have been restricted, except for family in end-of-life situations.