COVID-19 outbreak at Henrico rehab center: 14 patients test positive, 16 symptomatic

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – Canterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center continue to deal with a coronavirus outbreak and now reports 17 positive cases, including 4 deaths.

Canterbury officials confirm a fourth resident with COVID-19 died the past 24 hours.

Dr. Danny Avula, Director of Richmond and Henrico Health Departments, tells CBS 6 the Far West End facility reports more than a dozen symptomatic patients. He says the total number of residents tested is unknown at this time.

Additionally, the facility reports six healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19.

Case numbers at the center:

14 residents & 4 workers positive. At least 16 others showing symptoms, but not confirmed, however they are also being isolated.

— Cam Thompson (@CamThompsonCBS6) March 26, 2020

Canterbury announced Wednesday that a third resident who tested positive for COVID-19 died. This came one day after the facility announced two elderly residents who tested positive for COVID-19 died. The cases were the first deaths from the coronavirus in Central Virginia.

Over the past 12 days, 17 Canterbury residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

Canterbury officials say two patients continue to receive treatment at a regional hospital and 11 patients are currently being treated at Canterbury in an isolated unit with dedicated nursing and certified nursing assistant staff, per guidance from the Henrico County Health Department,

Avula said the facility has reached out to three local hospital systems to help augment staff at the center.

“While we are deeply focused on the care and protection of our residents and staff here onsite at Canterbury, our hearts go out to the families of those who have passed, and we deeply feel the loss within our community,” Administrator Jeremiah Davis wrote in a message.

“We also recognize this is an incredibly stressful time for anyone with an elderly or infirm loved one, particularly in a group setting. We understand that connecting with family members is incredibly important. We are working hard to keep our families fully informed.”

Henrico Health officials say they are continuing to collaborate with the facility to reduce risk of transmission, conduct contact investigation, and to implement control measures.

Those health officials also confirmed that Canterbury suspended admissions and resident visitations, even before their first positive test.

“Yesterday, our medical director personally reached out to each Canterbury family with a COVID-19 positive loved one. Members of the Canterbury team reached out to the families of all other residents,” Davis wrote. “Further, we are establishing a dedicated phone line explicitly for families with questions; we have a team in place that will respond as quickly as possible to those calls. We also continue to encourage ‘virtual’ visitations with loved ones by telephone or video call, email, text, or instant messaging.”

Canterbury says they are continually monitoring all residents for COVID-19 symptoms along with daily employee screenings.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Practice social distancing. Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals when out in public.
  • Avoid crowds of more than ten people.

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