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Nursing home residents, staff test positive for COVID-19

Nursing home residents, staff test positive for COVID-19

Officials said 31 residents and five staff tested positive

By Judy Reed

A group of community members went to Metron Wednesday to offer hope and encouragement to residents and staff there. Photos from City Impact Facebook page.

A local nursing home in Cedar Springs is now on the front lines fighting COVID-19. 

Metron of Cedar Springs, a 77-bed community located at 400 Jeffrey Street, announced Tuesday that a number of residents and staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

“We have had 31 residents and 5 staff members at Cedar Springs test positive for COVID-19,” said Paul Pruitt, Director of Operations.

“These individuals are all located in one section of our community, which has been isolated.  Two of those residents and the staff members are currently receiving care outside of our community.  One of those residents is expected to return back to our community within the next few days. The rest remain in our care, are stable and it does not appear as if any of them are at risk to be transferred at this time.”

When the Cedar Springs community got the news Tuesday it hit many people hard, realizing the virus was affecting some of the most vulnerable people we knew and in our own backyard.

On Wednesday, a group of people in the community reached out to show the residents and staff at Metron that they care about them and what they are going through.

City Impact, a local Christian outreach center, took a group there to pray, sing and show them they are loved with signs, balloons and more. 

Community members outside of Metron offered hope and encouragement to residents and staff there. Photo from City Impact Facebook page.

“Our City Impact Saturday night service prayer team reached out to Metron right when we heard the news story yesterday [Tuesday],” explained spokesperson Kelley Bergsma. “Our intentions at first were to do a park and pray in the parking lot, however Metron said that their residents could really use some hope right now and they wouldn’t be able to see us or hear us from our parked cars, so we were invited on the property by one of their staff who showed us which windows to go to. We had one of our worship leaders with a guitar and microphone singing, and we just moved around the building in prayer and worship.” 

Bergsma said that despite some of the negative comments on Facebook, they did practice social distancing, and the people seen in groups were families. “We were very cautious,” she said.

 “We decided to do this because Metron is located right in the center of Cedar Springs. We care deeply about our city and the people here. We care about the staff, the residents, the families involved, and we know that prayer makes a difference!”

So what is Metron doing to help stop the spread of the virus?

Pruitt said they are taking all the necessary precautions and have been following state and federal health guidelines, including restricting visitors and non-medical personnel.

“We have been working closely with local, state and federal health departments,” explained Pruitt. “As a member of Spectrum Health’s High Performing Network, we have also been in continuous contact with the health system, its doctors and staff. We are taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of our residents, staff and community.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been closely monitoring and implementing the recommendations and requirements outlined by our local, state and federal health departments as well as the CDC in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  This is all in addition to our extensive health and wellness processes and procedures.

“As other facilities around the country have done, we have restricted visitors, guests and non-essential medical personnel to the building. Those essential visitors entering the facility, including doctors, are heavily screened prior to entry. Every staff member goes through the same screening process including having their temperature taken prior to starting every shift.  We are fully stocked with all necessary personal protection equipment and our staff members are wearing these items throughout their shifts to care for our residents and for their own protection.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and our staff members is our top priority as we navigate this global pandemic and unprecedented health crisis.”

The Post first heard about the possibility of a positive staff member at Metron last Friday, and reached out to the Kent County Health Department at that time to get information. 

As of Wednesday, the State of Michigan shows 119 positive cases in Kent County, and two deaths. According to Lori Latham, with the Kent County Health Department, that number does include the 31 residents at Metron but it is unclear whether it includes staff, since some could be from a different county and they did not all go together to be tested at the same time.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union

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