Resident of Loveland Senior Home Tests Positive for Virus, Others Await Results

A resident and a worker at a long-term care facility for seniors in Loveland have both tested positive for COVID-19.

Larimer County Public Heath said six others tested negative at the North Shore Health & Rehab Facility run by Columbine Health Systems. More residents are awaiting test results as the facility cleans and institutes self-isolation protocols for workers and residents.

It’s the first confirmed case at a long-term care facility in Colorado. That’s concerning because seniors appear to be particularly susceptible to this strain of coronavirus. In Seattle, as many as two dozen deaths have been linked to a single nursing home.

Columbine Health Systems runs five facilities in Colorado, but North Shore is the only one in its network with a confirmed positive for coronavirus.

“Columbine Health Systems has been a strong partner with local public health, state health and the CDC, doing everything they can to reduce the spread of this virus,” said Tom Gonzales, Larimer County Public Health Director in a statement.

North Shore Health & Rehab Facility serves a variety of people including long term residents, those in rehab after surgery, and those receiving end-of-life care. There are about 100 residents.

The facility is asking workers who deal directly with residents to self-isolate when they get home, and residents are not interacting with each other. 

There are few details about the resident and worker who tested positive. The resident is being cared for at the facility, and the worker has been isolated from the facility.

There are no details about the resident who tested positive, other than the resident is being cared for at the facility. The worker is a woman in her 20s. She is now quarantined in her home.

County health officials said there was also an outbreak of the flu at North Shore. They said that together with the state, they were throwing resources at these cases, given the sensitivity of seniors to the worst effects of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. 

“I think it's learning the COVID infection and what works for that,” said  Yvonne Myers, health systems director at Columbine Health Services. “The CDC and the world is trying to figure it out. We've kinda got flu down. We know what to do about that, but we're all working together to learn about this.”

Last week, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ordered new restrictions on nursing homes, including screening workers before they enter facilities. And if a facility has a positive case, it must restrict visitation and internal group activities.

Myers said non-essential individuals are not allowed in the facility right now. 

To keep residents entertained during the crisis, North Shore has bought iPads to do video calls with friends and family. And residents have particularly enjoyed watching video of baby owls hatching.

“We're really trying to do all we can to deal with not only their health but their psycho-social health as well, and keeping our staff happy as well,” said Myers.