Health officer: Nursing home outbreak could be nearing end

By 
Sam Klomhaus — Enterprise Staff Writer
Friday, March 5, 2021

Despite two additional COVID-19 deaths reported in recent days, the outbreak at Livingston Health and Rehabilitation could be nearing its end, according to the Park County Health Department.

Although the two deaths were reported recently, County Health Officer Dr. Laurel Desnick said both occurred more than a week ago, although the exact dates are unknown.

The outbreak, which was discovered Jan. 28, has led to more than 20 positive COVID-19 cases among residents and staff, Desnick said, as well as a total of four deaths.

Many of those infected have recovered, she said.

“It finally looks like things are calming down and we might be closer to the end of the outbreak,” Desnick said.

A Feb. 18 Health Department press release said 80% of residents and staff had received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This is Park County’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care center, Desnick said.

“First and last, I hope,” she said.

Livingston Health and Rehabilitation is rated as “below average” for health inspections by Medicare.gov.

According to Medicare.gov, a July 2019 health inspection at the facility found seven deficiencies. A June 2020 health inspection did not find any deficiencies, and an Oct. 8, 2020 health inspection found one deficiency.

Desnick said the staff at the center has gladly accepted outside help for COVID-19 testing and prevention measures.

Calls seeking comment were not returned by Livingston Health and Rehabilitation nor EmpRes Healthcare Management, which owns and operates the facility.

Desnick said it’s noteworthy the outbreak occurred when many people are talking about the end of the pandemic.

“In Park County, we are not at the end, so we’re really asking people to please stay cautious, do what works,” Desnick said.

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Enterprise Staff Writer Justin Post contributed reporting to this article.