Nursing home outbreak not reported on state website for days

Published: May. 22, 2020 at 2:38 PM CDT
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A COVID-19 outbreak at a nursing home in Ottumwa did not show up on the state's coronavirus website until after KCRG-TV9 inquired about its absence.

Vista Woods Care Facility in Ottumwa reported on its website Monday that 9 residents had tested positive for COVID-19. It says all 9 are isolating for 14-days. The facility since says all staff received a test with two coming back positive. Those staff members are also isolating at home.

As of Friday afternoon, the location was not among the 36 outbreaks at long term care facilities listed on the state's coronavirus reporting website. That site details the number of cases and locations of facilities with at least 3 active COVID-19 cases among residents.

When asked about its absence from that list after four days, the Iowa Department of Public Health said to "Please check the LTC list for updates soon". It did not immediately offer an explanation for the delay in reporting the site. The outbreak in Wapello County appeared about an hour later but listed only 1 positive case at Vista Woods.

Long term care facilities have proven to be particularly susceptible to COVID-19 outbreak, which is why the state specifically tracks those. Those outbreaks account for less than 10% of COVID-19 cases in Iowa but more than half of the deaths,

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