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W.Va. nursing home reporting virus outbreak after death

This April 10, 2020 photo shows the Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Wayne, Ind. The West Virginia nursing home already linked to a coronavirus death is now reporting an outbreak of 66 new cases. At least 36 residents and 30 staffers of the Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center have the virus, according to a statement posted on the facility's social media late Monday, April 13, 2020. Ten tests are still pending. (Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch via AP)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia nursing home already linked to a coronavirus death is now reporting an outbreak of 66 new cases.

At least 36 residents and 30 staffers of the Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center have the virus, according to a statement posted on the facility’s social media late Monday. Ten tests are still pending.

The nursing home on Saturday said a patient with the virus and several other underlying medical conditions had died. No other details were released.

A statement from the center said it is working with local health officials and taking necessary precautions to prevent further spread. A spokesman for the facility declined to comment further Tuesday.

Gov. Jim Justice said he is “really concerned” about the nursing home adding that the state health department and National Guard are assisting local health officials.

“We’re on it,” he told reporters at a news conference.

The outbreak at the Wayne center is the latest in a string of cases tied to nursing homes, where a trade group leader said supplies are running dangerously low. Two deaths and around 30 positives have been reported at the Sundale Nursing Home in Morgantown and local health officials in Charleston have said Eastbrook Center has eight cases and Brookdale Charleston Gardens has one.

Statewide, nine people have died and at least 640 people have tested positive for the virus. Testing remains limited and state officials admit their case count lags behind the actual total as results pour in from counties around the state.

Justice has strengthened existing safety restrictions in 12 hot spot counties, directing local officials to limit gatherings to five people and set maximum occupancy rules for stores. The Republican governor has previously ordered a state of emergency, directed all nonessential businesses to close, shuttered schools until at least April 30 and rescheduled the primary election from May 12 to June 9.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, and the overwhelming majority of people recover. But people with severe cases can need respirators to survive, and with infections spreading exponentially, many hospitals are bracing for coming waves of patients.

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