Outbreak at Casey’s Pond spurs rapid testing of all residents and staff | SteamboatToday.com

Outbreak at Casey’s Pond spurs rapid testing of all residents and staff

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Casey’s Pond is reporting an outbreak of COVID-19 among residents and staff with 11 total positive cases, according to an update posted to the senior living facility’s website Tuesday.

Two cases were discovered over the weekend — one asymptomatic and the other showing symptoms.

The two cases sparked mass rapid testing of all residents and staff, which uncovered nine more cases. Routt County Public Health officials were able to provide the rapid tests, but all residents and staff are also taking PCR tests, and those results are expected back Friday.

“What we are hoping is that it will help us identify any virus that we might have, isolate it as quickly as possible and then eradicate it from our community,” said Pam Sullivan, senior vice president of strategy and communication for Cappella Living Solutions, which operates Casey’s Pond in Steamboat Springs. “We’re welcoming of more testing; it helps us do a better job at combating COVID-19.”

All the residents affected are isolating where they live in Casey’s Pond, and staff members are recovering at home.

The new cases at the facility come as health officials say COVID-19 is as prevalent in the community as it ever has been, with roughly a quarter of new cases in the county being attributed to community spread.

“I think as much as it is surging right now in every corner of the state, I think we’re feeling better supported and feeling that this testing … really makes good sense,” Sullivan said. “We are really looking for the community’s partnership also — get tested, wear your mask, wash your hands and do everything you can to help us keep it out of Steamboat and out of Routt County.”

Last week, the state put new testing guidelines in place for assisted living facilities, requiring them to test all employees for the virus each week, as well as others who provide care. It also requires facilities to test any residents who have left the community in the past 14 days.

Sullivan said she welcomes the additional testing from the state, even though they have been testing staff on a weekly basis for several weeks.

If the test positivity rate in Routt County exceeds 10%, then Casey’s Pond would need to test all residents and staff twice per week until the rate fell below 10% for two consecutive weeks, per the state order.

If residents leave the neighborhood, such as for Thanksgiving or other upcoming holidays, they will be required to be tested and to socially isolate for 14 days when they return.

“The more focus we can put on community responsibility and working together on this and that we can welcome the testing, I think that is what is really imperative right now,” Sullivan said.

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