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2 Western Home employees test positive for coronavirus
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2 Western Home employees test positive for coronavirus

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Deery Suites in the Western Home Communities.

CEDAR FALLS — Two employees of a skilled nursing facility within Western Home Communities have tested positive for coronavirus, the company said Tuesday afternoon.

The two employees both work on the second floor of Deery Suites, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility that is a part of Western Home in Cedar Falls, according to spokesperson Linda Hudwalker Bowman.

Thirteen residents currently live on the second floor, where both employees work different shifts. All of those residents and their family members have been notified as of Tuesday, Bowman said, and Western Home would continue to update those people as more information came in.

Neither employee had known exposure to the virus.

Both employees, who were not named, were “receiving medical care and will not return to work until completing the recommended isolation,” Bowman said in a release.

“Western Home Communities is working with public health agencies and following its own coronavirus response plan to ensure all appropriate steps are taken to protect residents and employees from COVID-19,” Bowman wrote.

That plan now included checking each second-floor resident’s temperature, vital signs, oxygen saturation and respiratory symptoms three times daily instead of the usual twice daily, and increasing cleaning and disinfecting procedures to three times daily instead of twice.

Employees in direct contact with residents wear disposable surgical masks and eyewear, and all employees are screened for fever and respiratory symptoms upon arrival to work, Bowman added.

She said notifications have been made to Iowa Department of Public Health, Black Hawk County Health Department and Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, the regulatory agency for nursing homes.

IDPH won’t classify an outbreak of coronavirus in a long-term care facility such as Western Home unless there are three or more residents that test positive for coronavirus, the department has said.

Those with additional questions may call Deery Suites at 277-2141, or check for additional updates at westernhomecommunities.org.

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