Marion rehab facility under quarantine after residents diagnosed with COVID-19

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MARION, Ark. — A Marion rehabilitation facility has become a COVID-19 hot spot after more than 10 people test positive for the virus

Nine residents and two employees at the Willowbend Healthcare and Rehabilitation facility tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, according to the state department of health.

“They worked with their medical director to identify who needed to be tested and then immediately started working with the department of health to test every single resident and every single staff member,” Rachel Bunch, Executive Director of Arkansas Healthcare Association, said.

The numbers are alarming compared to the facility’s population.

It houses around 100 people. Nine confirmed resident cases is a high percentage relative to the general population. Across the state, Arkansas averages less than 32 cases per 100,000 residents.

The building is under quarantine but health officials say while they are waiting for the results of a few employees, all the other residents tested negative.

Nursing homes and extended care facilities are facing new challenges by trying to enforce the new guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Right now, the facility has policies in place to prevent the virus from spreading.

Bunch says they facility has a group of employees working with those who have the virus.

“They’ve assigned a specific to that wing and to those patients,” Bunch said. “They’ve got other staff assigned to other parts of the building.”

Bunch says patients are their top priority and they are going the extra mile to ensure their safety.

Crittenden County officials says they have adequate resources to treat the virus while the state health department is remaining optimistic as case numbers continue to rise across the state.

“We are increasing our testing in the state and we are actually seeing lower positivity rates even though we are able test more people,” Dr. Nate Smith with the state health department said.

Officials say they will release information on positive cases if anyone else associated with the facility tests positive.

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