About half the population at the Pearl Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation in Perry has tested positive for COVID-19, according to data released Sunday by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).
Built in 1965, the facility at 2625 Iowa St. is licensed for 46 beds. It currently houses 25 residents and employs 40 staff members. It is now one of 16 long-term care facilities in Iowa that have reported outbreaks of COVID-19.
A Pearl Valley staff member, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Saturday that “more than one resident has” COVID-19, but “none has been very symptomatic.” IDPH data indicates 12 people of the facility — residents and staff — have tested positive.
Residents who tested positive for COVID-19 are kept in their own wing of the facility, according to the staffer.
“Any residents who get it will all be moved to the same hall and extra precautions made when staff is in contact with them,” the worker said. “They’ve contemplated having dedicated staff to care specifically for infected residents and said those individuals could be nursing staff who already have the virus, but I assume they would only be working if they were asymptomatic. It’s a bit confusing, considering people who test positive are typically told not to work.”
The non-infected residents are in a separate wing and are confined to their rooms for now.
“All residents are isolated to their rooms with the exception of taking showers,” the caregiver said. “Two residents with dementia, who can’t process or who easily forget the fact, are apt to try and roam around, yet we still try to keep them together in their rooms as much as possible.”
Sixteen long-term care facilities in Iowa have now reported outbreaks, and the novel coronavirus is especially dangerous for elderly residents and those whose health was previously compromised. About 50% of the 118 COVID-19 deaths in Iowa is composed of residents of long-term care facilities.