COVID-19 outbreak at Colville nursing home kills 5, infects 74

Pinewood Terrace Nursing Facility
Kaitlin Knapp. Copyright 4 News Now

COLVILLE, Wash. — Since late August, a Colville nursing center has been fighting a COVID-19 outbreak in its facility and has lost five people who called it home.

The Northeast Tri-County Health District said on its website that the Pinewood Terrace Nursing Center has seen 22 staff and 52 residents test positive for COVID. The first case was reported on Aug. 25.

Out of the 74 cases related to the outbreak, the health district said 33 of them were fully vaccinated and 41 were not. Of the five people who died, one was fully vaccinated.

“This speaks to the seriousness and danger the Delta variant poses for all individuals, but especially those most vulnerable, even if vaccinated,” the health district said. “It also shows the ability of the vaccine to protect against severe illness in those who have been vaccinated.”

Prestige Care tells 4 News Now there are still 29 active cases between residents and staff.

“While it’s impossible to pinpoint the origin of a COVID-19 outbreak due to the virus’ high transmission rate, we’ve continuously upheld our rigorous infection prevention protocols to limit spread as much as possible,” the company said in a statement.

According to Medicare.gov, 64.5-percent of the residents at the nursing center are vaccinated. However, only 37.1-percent of staff members are also vaccinated. That was as of Sept. 5.

The website also states there are 92 licensed beds at the facility, though it is not clear if all of them are being used.

Tri-County Health said the current COVID-19 case rate is 1,300 per 100,000 people. The number in September alone overshadows all of last year, the district explained.

Local hospitals are dealing with a patient influx, though they have been able to transfer some people for more care.

They emphasized the importance of precautionary measures such as masks, social distancing, having small gatherings and getting vaccinated. They said it is to protect those who are most vulnerable including the elderly, immunocompromised, kids who aren’t yet eligible to get the vaccine and those physically unable to get the vaccine.

“For as long as we have been dealing with this pandemic, it can be easy to lose sight of the purpose of utilizing these precautionary measures,” the health district said. “However, each one of us, through our actions, can help prevent further medical hardships to those within our own family, or friends, or members of our communities throughout NE Washington.”

After seeing 35 deaths in the health district’s three counties since Sept. 1, they said they are seeing firsthand that age, gender, health status and demographics do not shield people from the severity of the virus.

The vaccination rate across all three counties is low. According to the Washington Department of Health, each county is below a 40-percent vaccination rate in people 12 and older.

You can find more info about the outbreak here.

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