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2 positive employee tests at Iron County Medical Care Facility force visit limitations

Indoor visitation has been suspended while employees who tested positive enter isolation.
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT
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CRYSTAL FALLS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Within the last 10 days, two staff members at Iron County Medical Care Facility have tested positive for COVID-19.

“They’re not related at all. They’re just two community members that got COVID in the community, and we tested and caught them,” said Craig Jestila, Iron County Medical Care Administrator.

Contact tracing is taking place throughout the facility.

“We test everybody else to make sure they didn’t contract it,” Jestila said. “If the residents were in close contact with the person within 24 to 48 hours of them having symptoms or testing positive, then we quarantine them also.”

Jestila says both staff members are currently in isolation. No resident has tested positive at this time. However, precautions are still being taken to ensure staff and resident safety.

“We do reduce visitation to only outside visitation and we stop communal dining and a lot of the group activities just in case it got into the facility that it doesn’t spread,” Jestila said.

Of the two positive cases, one staff member was vaccinated, and one was not. The care facility still feels good about its current vaccination rates.

“We have 120 residents and all but 10 or 11 have been vaccinated, so the residents are very high,” Jestila said. “Staff is between 55 and 60 percent that have been vaccinated.”

Jestila said all non-vaccinated staff have to get tested weekly, and anytime there is a positive test everyone is required to get tested. The facility uses rapid COVID testing, so results are known within 30 minutes.

While indoor visitation is temporarily suspended, outdoor visitation is still allowed. No resident at this time has tested positive for Covid-19. Employee screenings continue as we speak.

Of note, a resident has not tested positive at the facility since October 2020. State data shows 26 facility residents died from COVID-19 during the pandemic.

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