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Hillview reports case

Care facility first in Blair to have virus

Blair County has its first case of coronavirus in a long-term care facility.

The case was reported in Hillview Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Altoona, and it was listed Friday as being new within the past 24 hours on the website of parent company Guardian Elder Care of Brockway.

Guardian confirmed the case in an email.

The website doesn’t specify whether the infected person is a resident or an employee, but Diana Rickabaugh of Altoona, whose sister is a Hillview resident, said she was told by an employee that the infected person is a resident.

The infected person has been put in isolation, Rickabaugh said, based on what she was told by the home employee.

Rickabaugh’s nephew Jason Streightiff of Bellwood, whose call first informed the Mirror of the infection, is concerned because his mother, Rickabaugh’s sister, is “weak and frail,” he said.

“I’m terrified,” said a woman who also called the Mirror to say she’d been informed by the home about the COVID-19 case, because a relative of hers is a Hillview resident.

At Hillview, however, “they really try and take good care of everyone,” the woman said. “I know they’re trying to do their best.”

“The site (Hillview) continues to follow all CDC, CMS and DoH guidance for health care facilities, including adhering to approved hygiene protocols, disinfection procedures, and the use of proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for all health care personnel,” Guardian wrote in the email. “We are also restricting all visitor access, monitoring exposed staff, and communicating regularly with all appropriate public health care authorities.”

As of Friday, the case had not been reported on the state Department of Health website.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

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