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2 Farmington nursing home residents, 7 employees test positive for coronavirus

The San Juan County Office of Emergency Management is coordinating with nursing homes in the county to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sam Ribakoff
Farmington Daily Times
  • All the residents at the facility have been tested and are waiting on test results.
  • Life Care Center of Farmington has 19 rooms that are designated as isolation units for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are displaying symptoms.
  • The Office of Emergency Management is accepting donations of personal protective equipment.

FARMINGTON — Two residents of Life Care Center of Farmington nursing home and seven employees at the facility have tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19.

According to a press release sent by Life Care Centers of America, after two residents tested positive for COVID-19 at Life Care Center of Farmington, all residents of the facility were tested for COVID-19. Those test results are currently pending.

The press release states that 95% of the Life Care Center of Farmington employees had been tested as of April 6.

The nursing home has designated 19 rooms as isolation units, with their own dedicated staff, for residents that have tested positive for COVID-19. Nursing home residents who exhibit symptoms of the virus, along with any roommates they might have, will also be transferred to those isolation units, according to the release.

According to a statement on Life Care Center of Famrington’s website, all visitors, non-essential health care personnel and vendors are restricted from entering the facility, except visitors entering for end-of-life care, who must wear masks and other personal protective equipment. Group activities and communal dining for residents inside the facility have also stopped.

MORE:Latest coronavirus updates from San Juan County, Four Corners region

“Our primary concern is for the health and safety of our residents, nursing staff and other care providers. They are on the front line of this unprecedented outbreak. Our staff is trained in proper use of PPEs and are following all relevant guidelines in infection control. They are putting in heroic efforts to ensure that our patients are receiving the best care,” the release from Life Care Centers of America states.

The sign outside of Life Care Center of Farmington is pictured, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in Farmington.

San Juan County spokesperson Devin Neeley said that all nursing homes in the county are coordinating with the county’s Office of Emergency Management on their response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. He said that all nursing homes have access to personal protective equipment, or PPE, like masks, scrubs, gloves, and face shields through the county.

The Office of Emergency Management has distributed PPE supplies to Life Care Center of Farmington and other organizations in the last few weeks, according to Neeley.

MORE:NMSU gathers protective gear to donate to local hospitals

Neeley went on to say that the Office of Emergency Management is currently accepting donations of PPE supplies.

A statement on the coronavirus on Life Care Center of Farmington’s website reads: “In spite of these challenges, it is important for you to continue contact with our residents, so they feel the love and support of their friends and relatives. We encourage you to reach out to our residents, and we will be happy to help coordinate your communication with them in any way we can. Postal service continues at our facilities, as does telephone service. We have also supplied all of our facilities with iPads to enable video conferencing between family members using FaceTime or Skype, which can be arranged by calling the facility directly.”

MORE:What is social distancing, and why does it matter?

The director of public relations at Life Care Centers of America, Leigh Atherton, said in an email to The Daily Times that, "we would encourage family members to reach out to facility leadership with any and all questions. The facility staff can also help coordinate video chats, phone calls, etc., to helped loved ones stay connected."

Sam Ribakoff is a visual journalist for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-333-5283 or via email at sribakoff@daily-times.com.