Nursing home outbreaks slow, but still some new cases | COVID-19

Steve Garbacz

INDIANAPOLIS — Two DeKalb County nursing homes continue to have a handful of new cases being reported, but outbreaks at long-term care facilities across the four-county region appear to have calmed.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health’s long-term care dashboard, which is updated through Nov. 25, area nursing homes only had small changes in case counts from the prior week.

The biggest impacts of the week were at two DeKalb County facilities that had a few new cases as they’ve navigated some recent outbreaks.

Betz Nursing Home in Auburn, which has had one the most recent and largest outbreaks, reported six new resident cases in the week ending Nov. 25 as well as two additional deaths among residents in the facility.

The facility had 33 resident cases recorded from Nov. 11-18, so the few new cases represented a slowdown in the spread of the virus there.

In total, Betz has had 41 cases among residents, nine resident deaths and since Nov. 11, as well as 10 staff cases in November.

The other new nursing homes cases have come at The Laurels of DeKalb County, which has identified six new cases among residents during the reporting period, but no new staff cases and no new resident deaths.

The Laurels had a serious outbreak in July and running to August, but then was COVID-free for more than a month before new cases popped up again in November.

Since July, the facility has had 65 resident cases, 21 staff cases and nine resident deaths.

Elsewhere across the the four-county area there were few other COVID-19 cases reported in long-term care facilities.

Presence Sacred Heart Home in Avilla had one new resident case and two staff cases identified, while Orchard Pointe in Kendallville reported one new staff case.

Although not showing up yet in the long-term care report — which lags one week behind — North Ridge Village is in the midst of a new outbreak according to an email sent to residents dated from Friday and forwarded to KPC Media Group.

A COVID-19 update sent to residents and family contacts dated Nov. 27 indicated there had been 13 resident cases and six staff cases identified within the previous 14 days.

Those figures haven’t yet appeared on the state dashboard, which is only current to Nov. 25, so figures may not show until next week’s update.

Currently, the state shows fewer than five resident cases and fewer than five staff cases at that facility all-time.

In the week ended Nov. 25, the state saw 654 new cases of COVID-19 among nursing home residents, a sharp decrease from 1,135 new cases identified the week prior.

However, deaths from nursing home patients across the state increased, with 158 long-term care residents losing their lives to COVID-19, up from 128 the week prior.

In total, nursing home residents have accounted for 14,555 of the state’s more than 312,000 cases of Nov. 25 and 3,030 total deaths, more than half of the statewide total all-time.

Steve Garbacz

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