Senior facility in Eagle facing second COVID-19 outbreak
Castle Peak Senior Life and Rehabilitation reportedly has 5 infections among residents, one in intensive care
The Castle Peak Senior Life and Rehabilitation facility in Eagle this week is dealing with a second round of coronavirus infections.
According to an email by Shelly Cornish, the facility’s administrator, that was written on Wednesday and forwarded to the Vail Daily, Castle Peak tested all of its residents and employees for coronavirus on Tuesday.
Residents were tested by Vail Health. Five tested positive for the virus, four in the facility’s health center and one in assisted living, according to the email.
“We helped them conduct testing to get them results as quickly as possible,” said Sally Welsh, public relations director for Vail Health.
Vail Health and Colorado Mountain Medical have been working with the Castle Peak senior facility to administer COVID-19 tests and have ramped up that effort in the past two weeks following a positive test for a patient, said Dr. Brooks Bock, CEO of Colorado Mountain Medical.
“Currently, one Castle Peak resident is hospitalized in the ICU at Vail Health Hospital,” Bock said.
Most of the affected residents are asymptomatic, Cornish said, when reached by email Thursday evening. Tests for the facility’s employees were reportedly sent to a different lab. As of Thursday evening, most employee tests had come back negative with a few still pending results.
Residents who tested positive for coronavirus were immediately moved into a dedicated COVID-19 unit in the Castle Peak facility, and the Castle Peak staff caring for them all volunteered to do so, Cornish said.
“We have converted our rehab hallway into a separated area to care for COVID positive residents at this time,” Cornish wrote. “This area is completely separated from the rest of our residents by fire doors. The goal is to completely staff this area with dedicated employees that will not be crossing over to the other areas.”
Cornish said the team at Castle Peak is working around the clock to stop the spread of the virus and to care for residents to the best of its ability.
“We are wearing N95 masks, surgical masks over that, goggles or face shields and are working long hours,” Cornish wrote. “We get tested weekly. We have bruises on our noses from all the PPE and our stress level is high … but we keep coming back each day. We do it for them. We do it because they aren’t just residents to us, they are family.”
According to its website, Castle Peak has 22 skilled nursing beds for people with chronic care conditions, 20 assisted living apartments with separate bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living spaces, 12 memory care units for people with cognitive issues, and 10 short-term rehabilitation suites.
Second outbreak this year
The Castle Peak facility saw three residents and four staff infected with the coronavirus in early May. One resident died as a result of COVID-19. The facility worked closely with Vail Health to test and treat infected residents. Later testing in May did not detect additional infections.
The facility at that time said it had instituted coronavirus precautions starting in March, restricting visitors, ending dining room gatherings and group activities, routinely screening residents, and screening employees at the start of each shift.
Cornish said that Castle Peak for six months had zero coronavirus cases among its residents, “which is outstanding for most long term care settings across the country.”
Bock said that Vail Health will continue to support Castle Peak through frequent testing, medical support, infection control assistance, and by providing PPE. “As a community, we must protect our most vulnerable populations, and Vail Health will continue to aid the residents and staff at Castle Peak, as needed,” he said.
Tom Lotshaw can be reached at email@example.com.
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