12 people have died from care center COVID outbreak; more than 50 residents, staff infected

Covid 19 Covid Coronavirus

TONASKET, Wash. — Another person has died from the COVID-19 outbreak at North Valley Extended Care, bringing the total to 12.

Okanogan Public Health announced Monday that the long-term care facility had suffered a devastating COVID outbreak. So far, 12 people have died and 32 of the facility’s 41 residents have tested positive for the virus, North Valley Hospital District CEO John McReynolds confirmed Tuesday.

Additionally, 20 employees have tested positive for COVID and two have been hospitalized.

McReynolds says they identified their first positive case on November 14, but just days later, several residents started developing symptoms. Most of the North Valley employees who contracted COVID-19 have been asymptomatic, and McReynolds suspects that is how the virus spread so quickly and thoroughly through the care center.

Public Health said that North Valley is navigating this situation “safely and professionally,” after conducting an infection survey of the facility.

RELATED: 11 people have died from COVID-19 outbreak at Okanogan Co. long-term care center