• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

Positive COVID-19 cases reported at Solon Nursing Care Center

No serious symptoms, no hospitalization

SOLON– The 2019 novel coronavirus has made its way into the Solon Nursing Care Center (SNCC).
A resident of the facility tested positive Sunday, July 12, according to Solon Retirement Village Campus Administrator Melissa Reed.
As of Friday, July 17, four staff members and 16 residents had tested positive.
Reed said none presented severe symptoms nor required hospitalization.
“The majority are all asymptomatic,” she reported. “They don’t have a fever, they’re not having chills, they’re not complaining about medical concerns.”
The care facility, part of the larger Solon Retirement Village, is home to over 100 people and employs over 150 workers.
Those residents who tested positive have been isolated to a single unit where staff wear gowns, gloves and face shields, Reed said, with additional cleaning in each room. A temporary wall has been added to the Skilled Unit, the completely separate building where those with positive tests are being closely monitored, she added.
“We’re lucky that our building is set up in wings,” she said.
The Memory Care, East, West and South wings have all been isolated, with all meals served in rooms, she noted.
Since community spread of the virus in March, the care center has been testing all residents and staff, she noted. Staff and residents also undergo a temperature check with every shift.
Reed said the SNCC has used an oral swab test, a process less stressful for residents than the nasal swab. The COVID-19 tests are paid through the Iowa Department of Public Health, she added.
The center’s first positive test presented in a resident who also had a temperature, Reed said.
The SNCC notified all family members with phone calls.
It’s hard to know exactly how the virus was able to transfer into the facility, Reed said, but it was assumed it was through staff. The facility has not allowed visits from the general public, but has continued to take deliveries of food and supplies into the building.
The four staff members who tested positive exhibited no symptoms, Reed said.
The employees have been sent home and will be tested again in 14 days, she said. Staff members who test negative and are not displaying symptoms after two weeks can return to work.
Reed said the Solon Retirement Village also tests its assisted living residents and staff, with temperatures taken every shift. No positive cases have been reported.
Testing will continue weekly on Mondays for all SNCC staff and residents who show no signs or symptoms, Reed said. Anyone running a low-grade fever is put in isolation and tested daily.
Testing is also being offered to the tenants of Terrace Lane and Terrace Lane Glen, the two independent living buildings on the overall campus.
Reed said retirement village employees share the concerns expressed by family members and the public, and are saddened by the outbreak.
“We’re concerned, too,” she said. “Our staff really, really did a lot of things to minimize their exposure.”
Employees have taken their role as essential workers seriously and made personal sacrifices to limit their activities while not at work, she said.
The tests have made it even harder for residents to keep in contact with their loved ones, she said.
Staff have used Zoom meetings and Facetime to connect the residents virtually prior to the positive tests.
“We’ve tried to do a lot of small but fun things for the residents here because they do miss their family. It’s been terrible,” Reed said.
SNCC is not taking admissions and anyone who has been hospitalized and comes back has to be quarantined for 14 days, she said, restricting the facility’s ability to provide services to the public.
“We just feel like at this point we want to get this conquered and squashed as fast as we can,” she said.
For the latest information on COVID-19, including nursing care center cases, visit coronavirus.iowa.gov.