Spokane Regional Health monitoring ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at 13 care facilities

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Regional Health District is monitoring outbreaks at 13 care facilities that have been reported since the start of September. Of those outbreaks, three are considered new and they’re all Adult Family Homes.

According to the SRHD, 53 cases have been reported at Rockwood Retirement on the South Hill, as of September 26. Cornerstone Memory Care has reported 40. The number of cases is a combination of both residents and staff members.

The health district said Manor Care is up to 44 cases. However, the facility told 4 News Now they had 40 patients and 12 employees test positive. Nine residents passed away and 20 have recovered. No employees have died from the virus.

“Cases have been pretty consistent over the last few months where they [long-term care facility cases] make up about 10% of the cases state-wide are associated with a long-term care facility,” said Chris Wright, spokesperson for the Washington state Department of Social and Health Services.

In a public records request filed by 4 News Now, 761 people in the long-term care facilities have tested positive for COVID-19 as of September 28. This number also includes both residents and staff members. Of those cases, 118 people have died. Spokane County has reported 169 COVID-19 deaths.

Wright said numbers have “tended to mirror state-wide trends.” In Washington, the number of deaths connected to long-term care facilities make up about 55% of the state’s total death toll.

“Again, it just shows how vulnerable the older population and those with underlying conditions are to COVID-19 and why we still need to do everything possible to keep them safe,” Wright said.

Spokane Regional Health is actively monitoring the outbreaks.

“They all have a similar trend,” said Kelli Hawkins, Public Information Officer for the health district. “Many people are contracting COVID-19 outside of the facility and bringing it in.”

Hawkins said they’re helping long-term care facilities by making sure they have PPE, answer any of their questions and provide guidance on the health measures.

4 News Now reached out to the facilities with the most cases having an ongoing outbreak.