ERCC nurses and WV National Guard test residents and staff at facility
ELKINS — With the help of the West Virginia National Guard, Elkins Rehabilitation & Care Center administrative nurses tested all 98 residents at the facility as well as 158 staff members for COVID-19.
Governor Jim Justice issued an executive order requiring all West Virginia long-term care residents and staff members be tested for COVID-19 on April 17, and ERCC staff immediately moved to comply.
“This outbreak is a serious situation and it has hit long-term care facilities across the country very hard,” Shaver said. “Testing everyone will allow us to identify any positive cases and deal with them immediately.”
Shaver went on to say she was pleased with how the process ran and that she was proud of the staff’s hard work. The testing was conducted promptly and thoroughly, she noted.
“Our nurses and the members of the West Virginia National Guard worked very hard to get this done,” Shaver said. “This was a team effort and it went very smoothly.”
It took nearly three hours for all 256 tests to be administered. Currently there are no positive cases at the facility. As of Monday, there were still results pending for 21 residents and 36 staff members.
Facility wide testing is not the only precaution being taken at the facility. Prior to the testing, ERCC took steps to protect residents including suspension of visitation and restricting out-of area employee travel. In preparation of having a positive test or a new patient who was potentially exposed, ERCC officials converted the rehabilitation unit to an isolation unit with a designated staff in order to keep any COVID-19 patients away from residents.
ERCC is also looking after the mental wellbeing of their residents. Because of suspended visitation, staff has organized additional activities to keep residents engaged and active. Staff members set up an indoor Nerf gun range for residents and musical entertainment has been provided in the hallways. Officials at the facility are also working to keep residents in touch with loved ones by holding window visits and encouraging the use of programs like FaceTime and Skype.