COVID-19 Outbreak In North Platte Assisted Living Community
Published for NET News-Nebraska's NPR and PBS Station
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Thirty-seven residents and eight staff members are diagnosed with COVID-19 after an outbreak at Centennial Park Retirement Village in North Platte. According to a spokesperson’s statement, four residents have died due to complications related to COVID-19.
Mel McNea is the chief executive officer at Great Plains Health, where many of the COVID-19 patients have been treated. He said they’ve been working with local long term care facilities in Western Nebraska to address the recent rise in cases.
“The trend is that COVID-19 is increasing in our community," McNea said. "We're starting to see a second spike since May, and that is translating into exposure in nursing homes, as they've tried to open up in different phases.”
Great Plains Health currently has 13 patients being treated for COVID-19 symptoms and five of them came from Centennial Park. Gothenburg Health took three patients and two others are being treated in Ogallala Community Hospital. Other individuals at the assisted living community who tested positive are in quarantine and are being monitored regularly.
“The timeframe that these families have with their loved ones in assisted living has been curtailed for a long period of time," McNea said. "So it's just a hard, emotional situation for the family, and the patients, and the people that are taking care of them.”
McNea is worried about limited resources, and inadequate staffing to maintain general health care, and still address COVID-19 as numbers surge. He urges people to wear masks, practice social distancing, and wash their hands.