Three residents of the Josephine Care Center, a nursing home in Stanwood, have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been hospitalized, according to officials with the facility and the Snohomish Health District.
The nursing home is now under “lockdown” indefinitely, with a team of state and local health officials deployed to investigate the facility this morning, said Dr. Chris Spitters, the district’s interim health officer.
Five other residents and two employees of the nursing home now have test results pending, Spitters added Tuesday.
“We anticipate that additional staff and residents will be tested and we will begin releasing updated counts linked to Josephine on our website starting tomorrow,” Spitters said.
The first nursing home resident to test positive was a woman in her 70s, who came to the nursing home for an “unrelated condition,” Spitters said. She tested positive late Sunday for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, after being admitted to a local hospital, Spitters said.
Test results for two more residents — a woman in her 90s and a man in his 80s – came back positive Tuesday morning and both residents are now hospitalized, Spitters said.
“The facility is in lockdown, so no visitor, no consultants and no families,” Terry Robertson, the nursing home’s chief executive, said at a press conference Tuesday. “I can tell you that’s incredibly tough for families. You know, I had a lady in my lobby crying yesterday because she couldn’t see her husband, who she’s been married to for 64 years.”
The nursing home has locked all doors and assigned a “designated screener” to the front entrance, Robertson said. Staff members are getting their temperatures taken and being questioned upon arrival for their work shifts, he said. The home is being sanitized daily, group activities have been canceled and isolation rooms have been set up inside the home, Robertson said.
“We are monitoring the temperatures of residents every four hours, and if any resident has signs of symptoms that could be the COVID, then they are isolated,” Robertson said. As of Tuesday, five residents were isolated, said.
Neither public health officials or Robertson said Tuesday how many people are now living in the locked-down nursing home. Josephine Care Center, an Evangelical Lutheran service organization, is certified for 160 beds, according to 2019 Medicare records.
In all, Snohomish County reported 54 confirmed coronavirus cases and 60 patients with pending test results as of early Tuesday. Seventeen of the confirmed cases involve patients who are now hospitalized, 13 have recovered, seven are isolated and one has died, Spitters said.