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Kalamazoo long term care facility reports 20 COVID-19 cases

17 residents and 3 employees have tested positive for the virus at Medilodge of Kalamazoo.
Credit: AP
A healthcare worker shows a package with items used for testing people for COVID-19 at a drive-thru testing site at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in West Bloomfield, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Residents at two facilities serving vulnerable populations have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Kalamazoo County Health Department 

Medilodge of Kalamazoo said Monday that 17 of its residents have been sequestered to a specific unit of the facility after testing positive for coronavirus. In addition, three employees have also tested positive for the virus and are isolating at home. 

In a statement provided by Medilodge, the facility says its been following all of the CDC and CMS guidelines while working with both the county health department and the governor's office as they care for the COVID-19 patients. 

"We are extremely proud of our professional and dedicated staff that steps up to meet this challenge head on," the statement reads. "While we cannot get into specific details due to strict confidentiality laws, we are happy to soon be discharging some of our residents who have fully recovered from COVID-19.”

On Monday, Michigan's chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said going forward all skilled nursing facilities will be required to report COVID-19 cases daily to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

"We have at least 243 congregate care facilities that are reporting outbreaks of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19, and that's very concerning," Khaldun said during an April 20 press conference.

Nursing homes, homes for the aged, adult foster care facilities and assisted living facilities will all be required to submit up-to-date information regarding current capacity/bed availability, personal protective equipment inventory and the current number of COVID-19 cases and deaths within their facility. In addition, MDHHS is launching COVID-19 Regional Hubs to treat COVID-19 patients from congregate care facilities, who do not require hospital-level care.

In addition to Medilodge, one resident has tested positive at Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, which is a shelter for those experiencing homelessness. The resident has been isolated, and the four additional residents who made contact with that resident have also been quarantined. 

“It’s a blessing that we have gone without any positives for the past almost 40 days into this pandemic," said Pastor Michael Brown in a statement. "I am encouraged but the quick response of the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department, and the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission staff, to move the affected individual into quarantine. This will help to ensure the health and safety of our staff and guests.”

There are a total of 185 cases and 9 deaths reported in Kalamazoo County as of Monday. 

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