Charlottesville long-term care facility confirms COVID-19 fatalities

Cedars Healthcare Center in Charlottesville confirms fatalities

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Cedars Healthcare Center in Charlottesville confirms there have been fatalities at the facility in connection with the coronavirus.

A spokesperson for CommuniCare, which owns the Cedars Healthcare Center , says that there is a total of 67 COVID-19 cases as of Friday, July 24. An exact number for fatalities was not provided, but the company says it is notifying all families.

“We have had some deaths, I don’t know what the number is as of today, I know that there have been fatalities and that we’re in the process of notifying families,” spokesperson Fred Stratmann said.

Cedars Healthcare Center had reported a total of 48 cases Wednesday, July 22, according to the Virginia Department of Health. That was an increase of 12 new cases since last Wednesday.

“We didn’t get a single positive case from an employee or a resident until July, and in light of the way things happened around the country and even, you know in Northern Virginia, I think we were very lucky with the way that things played out. But obviously, you know, it proved to be impossible to keep COVID-19 out of Cedars,” Stratmann said.

Stratmann says 26 staff members are part of that total number of confirmed coronavirus cases. He says the company has a “very aggressive treatment protocol in place.”

“All of our residents who are clinically appropriate received anticoagulant medication to cut down on the risk of blood clots or stroke, which has been a factor in many COVID fatalities around the country. We’re treating them all with amino acid supplements, which help speed the recovery from COVID-19,” Stratmann said. “So we’re fighting back. We’re doing everything we can to protect our residents."

Stratmann confirmed that residents are not currently allowed to leave the facility, and that has been the policy since March 10. Full isolation measures are also in place at Cedars Healthcare Center.

According to Thomas Jefferson Health District Spokesperson Kathryn Goodman, Virginia’s Department of Health won’t confirm fatalities for a facility until it’s over five deaths in order to protect privacy.

“Facilities also aren’t required to report fatalities to us but often do,” Goodman said. “If the death certificate includes COVID, then it will be added to our fatality count and to the VDH dashboard and long term care facility page but that can often take some time for the numbers to come in. If there are five or more fatalities in a facility, the numbers will be on the VDH page.”

To view VDH data on outbreaks in long term care facilities, visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/health-professionals/virginia-long-term-care-task-force/.

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