BREWSTER — A senior living center in Brewster has experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 among its staff and residents.

The Okanogan County Public Health District and the nursing home, Regency Harmony House, did not say how many staff members or residents contracted the virus. Community Health Director Lauri Jones said doing so would be providing patient information.

The nursing home received its first positive test on June 28, according to a news release from Regency Pacific. It contained the virus by July 8. It has since done testing of all its residents and staff and is communicating those results with its residents, residents’ families and staff.

The nursing home has been prohibiting all non-essential people from visiting since early March, according to the news release. It is also screening all its employees each shift for signs and symptoms.

The nursing home has been removing any staff with signs or symptoms of the virus and has been having them remain in isolation until the employee’s physician clears them. It has also conducted frequent testing of staff and residents.

The nursing home has done a good job of trying to keep residents from contracting the virus, Jones said. Due to the number of positives in the community, it was only a matter of time before the virus made its way inside.

“You can’t control what people do in their own time staff wise,” she said. “It was bound to happen.”

The American Health Care Association and the National Center of Assisted living are warning of imminent outbreaks in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, according to a news release from both organizations.

The recent spike in cases combined with personal protective equipment shortages will lead to inevitable outbreaks, according to the news release. The more people in surrounding communities that have the virus the more likely it is for it to make its way into nursing homes.

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