Delta variant hitting Triad nursing homes hard

Coronavirus

DENTON, N.C. (WGHP) — Delta is deepening its hold on nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Staff at the Mountain Vista Health Park in Denton are dealing with their first outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“July 24th opened our eyes up to something different because that was our first experience with COVID in our facility,” said Joni Martin, director of nursing services at Mountain Vista Health Park.

Before then, only a few staff members tested positive for COVID.

Workers credit diligent precautions with keeping their residents safe up until that point.

“Several of our employees that have contracted COVID have not been vaccinated, and they’ve had a very rough experience,” said Priscilla Vint, administrator. “The residents in our care that have been vaccinated by in large have not been very sick.”

They believe an asymptomatic person might have brought the delta variant inside the facility.

Now, 36 people living there are fighting the virus.

“If you do things the correct way, as evidence, we went all this time without any COVID affecting our resident population, it can be done,” Martin said. “Unfortunately, the delta virus, it has no rhyme or reason.”

Three residents have died so far from the outbreak.

However, it isn’t just Mountain Vista feeling the pressure.

Across the state, the number of nursing homes experiencing outbreaks is climbing.

In the Triad, six nursing homes across Davie, Forsyth and Rockingham counties are seeing more than 10 positive cases among staff and residents.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Davie Nursing and Rehabilitation is seeing 56 total cases in this outbreak, and so far has seen 11 deaths.

Another challenge owners of these facilities are worried about is a presidential mandate for all nursing home staff to get the COVID vaccine.

“If they do that I do expect we’ll lose a lot of our employees, jobs are, they’re everywhere now, with higher salaries, that’s going to entice my staff,” Martin said.

Leaders know this health crisis has taken a toll on everyone, but they believe special bonds are made here.

“I think the healthcare workers are burned out and tired, but they keep coming back because they love our residents,” Vint said.

Vint tells FOX8 she has not received any specific guidance or policy from the federal government about employee vaccinations.

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