Six residents, seven staff test positive for COVID-19 at Pioneer Ridge Health & Rehab nursing facility

photo by: Lauren Fox

The Pioneer Ridge Health Center at 4851 Harvard Road in Lawrence.

Around 10% of residents at Pioneer Ridge Health & Rehab have tested positive for COVID-19 after an initial round of testing, according to the company that manages the facility.

Ali Ellis, the marketing director for Midwest Health, said that six out of the nearly 60 residents who live at the facility tested positive. Pioneer Ridge Health & Rehab, located at 4851 Harvard Road, is a skilled nursing facility that has separate staff and residents from Pioneer Ridge’s independent and assisted living communities.

Last week, the Journal-World reported that two residents had tested positive for COVID-19 at the facility. After finding out about these cases, Pioneer Ridge did an initial round of testing for all staff and residents of the health and rehab facility. Ellis said those results came back this weekend and that four additional residents tested positive, bringing the total to six.

In addition to the six residents, seven staff members also tested positive, Ellis said. All seven staff members who tested positive were asymptomatic, Ellis said.

Staff members who test positive are sent home to quarantine, Ellis said, adding that Pioneer Ridge Health & Rehab will monitor each staff member individually and use Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to determine when they may safely return to work. Residents who test positive will be in isolation in their apartments, Ellis said. Staff will deliver services to them such as food, wellness checks and other health care while in full personal protective equipment.

A second round of testing began Monday and will be completed on Tuesday, Ellis said. Residents and staff who tested negative for the virus in the first round will be tested again.

The Journal-World reported in mid-July that long-term care facility Brandon Woods at Alvamar, 1501 Inverness Drive, had five cases of COVID-19. A spokesperson for Brandon Woods said in a Monday email that there have been no new cases since then and that weekly testing is still taking place.

On Monday, Douglas County reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday at 2 p.m., bringing the total since the pandemic began to 744.

In Douglas County, 647 out of the 744 cases are inactive or beyond the infectious period, according to Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health.

The county has averaged about seven new cases per day over the last seven days, according to a seven-day moving average graph updated weekdays by the health department. At its height, the average was about 27 cases per day in early to mid-July. The current average of seven cases per day is one of the lowest averages the county has seen since early July.

photo by: Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health

Aug. 10 COVID-19 update from the health department.

Four patients at Lawrence’s hospital had COVID-19 on Monday, one less than Friday.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s online map noted that 12,787 Douglas County residents had been tested for the disease so far. The county’s testing rate per 1,000 people was 104.6.


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