5 Dane County nursing homes among 68 in state with COVID-19 investigations

5 Dane County nursing homes among 68 in state with COVID-19 investigations

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Oakwood Village (copy)

Oakwood Village's University Woods campus is on Madison's West Side.

Five nursing homes in Dane County are among 68 statewide with active investigations for COVID-19, meaning at least one resident or employee recently tested positive, according to a state list updated Wednesday.

Belmont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Capitol Lakes Health Center, Oakwood Village, SSM St. Mary’s Care Center and The Villa at Middleton Village have active investigations, according to the state Department of Health Services.

The state, which started releasing names of nursing homes with active investigations three weeks ago, hasn’t disclosed how many cases each facility has had.

The Villa has 13 residents with COVID-19, its owner, Illinois-based Villa Healthcare, said in a statement. The facility has had eight positive employees who stopped working once they developed symptoms, and three have returned to work after recovering.

The facility has stopped allowing visitors, is screening staff upon entry and departure for symptoms, and has plenty of protective equipment for workers, the company said.

Oakwood, where four residents and seven workers tested positive for COVID-19 in early April, has not had any positive cases for “several weeks,” spokesman Keith VanLanduyt said Wednesday. The state considers investigations active until 28 days after the last case was confirmed.

At St. Mary’s, one employee tested positive May 22, spokeswoman Kim Sveum said. “Since that positive result … all staff and residents have been tested and there have been no additional positives,” she said.

Representatives from Belmont and Capitol Lakes didn’t respond Wednesday to requests for information about how many cases they have had and when.

The list of active investigations in the state, updated each Wednesday, has grown from 38 nursing homes three weeks ago to 68 this week. The Villa at Middleton Village was the only nursing home in Dane County listed three weeks ago. It was listed again last week, along with Belmont, Oakwood and St. Mary’s.

The increase in active investigations at nursing homes is likely tied to a state and national push to test all residents and staff at nursing homes, which have been a significant source of COVID-19 infections and deaths. At least 26,000 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19 nationwide, the Associated Press reported this week.

Gov. Tony Evers said a month ago the state would provide free testing to Wisconsin’s 350 or so nursing homes, with the goal of testing 10,000 residents and staff per week and eventually testing all of them.

The state has about 22,000 nursing home residents and about 29,000 staff, according to the American Health Care Association, which represents nursing homes. As of Wednesday, 93% of nursing homes have had residents and staff tested or are currently testing them, said Jennifer Miller, a DHS spokeswoman.

Statewide, there have been a total of 88 COVID-19 investigations at nursing homes, meaning 20 of the probes are no longer active. Dane County has had five total nursing home investigations.

According to DHS, there are also 102 active investigations statewide at assisted-living facilities, including nine in Dane County. DHS hasn’t named those facilities, which are regulated differently than nursing homes.

As of Wednesday, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Wisconsin have had 268 COVID-19 deaths, or 44% of the state’s total. Such facilities have had a total of 997 cases, or 5%, of the state’s total.

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