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Augusta Health testing patients for COVID-19 at Staunton assisted-living facility

Augusta HealthRitenour Rest Home and Augusta Health are working together to coordinate testing of residents and staff after a patient tested positive for COVID-19.

“We’ve developed a collaborative relationship to help with the care of patients with COVID infection at Ritenour Rest Home,” says Clint Merritt, MD, Chief Clinical Officer for Population Health at Augusta Health.  “When we learned about a COVID patient at the Ritenour Rest Home, we connected with Ritenour’s staff to proactively provide support to them with personal protective equipment, COVID testing and education on infection control processes.”

To assist the Ritenour Rest Home and the Central Shenandoah Health District, Augusta Health is testing all residents and staff at the assisted living facility.

“We appreciate the response from Augusta Health and Augusta Care Partners,” says Lindsay Lowe, administrator at Ritenour Rest Home. “The testing and support have been a great service to us.”

“Although this situation is a serious concern, it’s also been an affirming opportunity — Augusta Health, the Central Shenandoah Health District and Ritenour Rest Home are working closely together to care for patients in our community. We are thankful for the collaborative effort of everyone involved.  The dedication and commitment from the Ritenour staff has been especially notable,” Merritt said.

A few weeks ago, Augusta Care Partners began providing proactive surveillance, PPE and social distancing guidance to long term care facilities in the Staunton-Augusta County-Waynesboro region.

A joint news release from Augusta Health and Ritenour Rest Home did not include details on how many residents and staff at the home have tested positive for COVID-19.

The virus has had particular lethality among the population in long-term care facilities. According to the Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard, 58.3 percent of the COVID-19 deaths in the Commonwealth have come among residents of long-term care facilities, which overall account for 1 percent of the state’s population.