5 employees at Casey’s Pond test positive for COVID-19

Updated at 10 a.m. Oct. 20 to reflect that Cappella Living Solutions does not own Casey’s Pond but offers administrative support.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Five employees in a Steamboat Springs senior nursing facility have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks, according to a statement Friday from the Routt County Public Health Department.

The employees work at the Doak Walker skilled nursing neighborhood, part of Casey’s Pond, and are all asymptomatic. They are recovering at home.

State and county health officials have recommended mass testing, and Casey’s Pond has said they included all residents and staff this week in mass testing.

“Currently at this time we’re really supporting the community,” said Jenifer McClendon, spokesperson for Cappella Living Solutions, headquartered in Englewood, which administratively supports not-for-profit Casey’s Pond. “Casey’s Pond staff have been receiving tests weekly and residents have been tested monthly for several months now.”

At this time, no one is exhibiting symptoms, according to the release.

Casey’s Pond had been testing all staff weekly since an outbreak earlier this year as part of their protocols, according to Roberta Smith, Routt County public health director.

“How we caught the cases was through routine surveillance,” Smith said.

Long-term care facilities have been some of the hardest hit communities since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. All eight deaths in Routt County due to the virus have been in assisted living facilities. Six are connected to Casey’s Pond and two more were at The Haven in Hayden. 

“The cluster of cases in concerning,” Smith said. “We have noticed a temporal relationship between increase of cases in our long-term care facilities and our community levels of transmission.”

The five positive tests have prompted Casey’s Pond to extend the suspension on outdoor visits, small group activities and salon visits to all residents and they are also not admitting new residents at this time, according to Brad Boatwright, executive director of the long-term care facility. 

Two of the employees had last worked on Wednesday, another on Sunday and a fourth at the end of September, according to the statement and Casey’s Pond’s website. It is unclear when the fifth employee last worked.

The first positive COVID-19 test from a team member was reported Wednesday on Casey’s Pond’s website. Upon learning of the test, outdoor visits, small group activities and salon visits were suspended for Doak Walker residents.

By Thursday three more employees had tested positive. There was an additional employee that tested positive in the last two weeks, but when it happened is currently unclear.

“We need to be intentional about our actions as a community,” Smith said. “Even if we don’t have direct interactions with these populations, they can be affected by everyone’s actions.”

Routt County has had 173 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.


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