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Garvey reports virus cases

Home says resident, staff member test positive for COVID-19

A resident and an employee of Garvey Manor have tested positive for COVID-19, according to administrator Sister Joachim Ferenchak.

The home discovered that the resident was infected during its mandated universal testing, according to Ferenchak.

The resident was asymptomatic, she said.

The home discovered the staffer was infected when that staffer informed the home after being tested after a trip to the hospital for a condition unrelated to COVID-19, Ferenchak said.

She’s not sure whether the staffer was also asymptomatic.

The home is taking “all necessary precautions” and has made “all the necessary notifications,” Ferenchak said.

She isn’t unnerved by what’s happened, she said.

The home was blessed to have been able to avoid infections for as long as it has, unlike many facilities in hot spots like New York City and Philadelphia, she said.

Facilities in those areas were “taken off guard,” she said.

“We have the experience of time behind us, (giving the home) the opportunity to have systems in place,” she said. Those systems were put in place through excellent work by the staff and with support from the state Department of Health, the Blair County Emergency Management Agency and other facilities with whom Garvey has shared best practices, she said.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s bound to happen,” Ferenchak said of the infections. “You can’t control all the variables.”

“We know that the risks in our county, like so many places in the whole country, are increasing, as people move around more in their social circles, public places, shopping, restaurants, etc.,” Ferenchak wrote in a news release. “We have emphasized the need to our staff to take personal precautions when they are off duty since so many people may contract and then carry the virus without having any symptoms.”

Ferenchak also asked members of the community “to follow closely the guidance set out to contain the virus and limit exposure by avoiding large crowds and gatherings, maintaining social distance, wearing masks at all times when out of their households, perform frequent hand hygiene” — mitigation behavior that will help reduce risk for long-term care facilities.

She’s hoping a second test on the resident will come back negative, she said.

The pandemic has “certainly been a struggle,” given the need for residents to be isolated for what is now four months, the administrator said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

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