York County nursing home sees spike in cases, increased testing likely reason

As of Saturday, the York Township skilled nursing and rehabilitation center had 18 patients test positive for the coronavirus and 36 employees.

  • By Steve Marroni/PennLive

A York County long-term care facility saw a significant increase in coronavirus cases over the weekend.

While it may seem like a spike in cases, officials with ManorCare Health Services – York South say the numbers reflect increased testing.

“Now that testing is finally available for long-term care facilities, we have been able to do whole house testing,” HCR ManorCare spokeswoman Julie Beckert said told PennLive in an email Sunday. “When you increase testing, you will have more positive cases identified since many individuals have no symptoms.”

As of Saturday, the York Township skilled nursing and rehabilitation center had 18 patients test positive for the coronavirus and 36 employees, she said.

That’s up from three patients and five employees on Friday, she said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health showed no cases at the facility in their latest numbers from June 10.

In this April 21, 2020, photo, Marguerite Mouille, 94, gestures while her visiting daughter takes a photo at the Kaisesberg nursing home, eastern France. France has started to break the seals on its locked down nursing homes, allowing limited visitation rights for the families of elderly residents. The visits are proving bittersweet for some, too short and restricted to make up for weeks of isolation and loneliness. But they are shedding light on the immense emotional toll caused by locking down care homes. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

Many of the people who tested positive in the new cases at ManorCare were asymptomatic – and the testing may go a long way in helping the facility fight the virus.

“We have been advocating for testing and support it 100 percent since many individuals are asymptomatic,” Beckert said. “This way we can manage and contain the virus faster and reduce the spread.”

She said eight of the patients who tested positive were asymptomatic.

The employees who tested positive are all in self quarantine. They would have been in proper personal protective equipment while working and followed proper hygiene protocols, she said. Officials check employees regularly for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus.

Long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, account for many of the coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the latest numbers show 17,000 resident cases of the coronavirus statewide and 3,034 cases among employees, totaling 20,034 at 658 facilities in 47 counties. As of Saturday, Pennsylvania had 81,266 total positive cases.

Out of the state’s 6,419 total deaths, 4,381 have occurred among residents of nursing or personal care facilities.

Beckert said ManorCare’s facilities have been following the recommended protocols and added enhanced monitoring, screening and communications with employees, patients and families.

“Our employees are working extremely hard and in a challenging environment,” she said. “They have had to think outside the box to keep families and patients informed and connected, change how we serve meals, deliver therapy and present activities while maintaining social distancing, hygiene practices and wearing PPE. They are true health care heroes and deserve to be recognized as such.”


PennLive and The Patriot-News are partners with PA Post.

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