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Senior facility confirms death

• Raises total to 5 in Monroe County

WOODSFIELD — A senior living facility in Monroe County announced the coronavirus-related death of at least one of its residents on Tuesday.

The Stellar Care Center, formerly the Monroe County Care Center, in Woodsfield released a statement Tuesday that confirmed that at least one resident had died due to the coronavirus this “past week.” It did not indicate how many residents have become infected or died as a result.

“Our hearts are heavy that this past week brought our first COVID-19 related deaths at Stellar Care Center. Our prayers go out to the families and friends of these sweet individuals,” the facility said in a statement. “This virus is unlike anything we or the country has ever seen, but please know we are fighting day in and day out to prevent the spread and to care for the sick.”

According to coronavirus.ohio.gov, the care center had 12 positive resident cases and four positive staff cases as of Monday.

Bryan Casey, owner of the Stellar Care Center, declined to say how many care center residents have died due to the virus. He would only confirm that at least one resident had died after becoming infected with COVID-19.

The Monroe County Health Department on Tuesday confirmed three additional coronavirus-related deaths among county residents, bringing the county’s total death toll to five.

Casey said every staff member and resident at the facility has been tested.

“We have tested all the residents,” he said. “I can only say that we have had a number come back positive. … Several staff and residents’ (coronavirus tests) have come back positive.” There are around 40 residents who call the facility home, he said. There are two sides to the facility — an assisted living side and a nursing side. Casey said only residents on the nursing side have tested positive.

“We do not have any positives on the assisted living side. The positive (cases) are on the nursing side,” he said.

He said the center’s staff is working diligently to care for the residents and to prevent the further spread of the virus.

“My personal thought is that the staff out there (at the care center) should be absolutely commended. They are continuing to forge forward. … You hear the word ‘heroes’ thrown out there in the media and you really don’t begin to appreciate what that means until you see the dedication the staff has in caring for folks that unfortunately get infected,” he said.

Casey urges the community to reach out with words of encouragement to the staff and residents in this difficult time.

“It’s a very difficult time, and I think the tendency is to point fingers and to try and find fault — and at a time when the staff, more than anything, need to be built up for what they are doing, for the risks they are taking. The last thing they need is for someone second guessing them. If I had anything to say, for the community at large to reach out with words of encouragement for health care workers. It is more crucial today than it ever has been,” he said.

As of Tuesday, Monroe County has 57 confirmed cases, one probable case, five deaths and seven recoveries.

Linda Masters, administrator for the county health department, said no additional information is being released at this time regarding the county’s recent COVID-19 deaths.

“We’re such a small county and community. In order to protect our residents, we are not releasing any additional information. We’re just trying to protect the families,” she said.

Masters said the department is working hard to contain the virus.

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