More than five dozen residents of a Carroll County nursing home have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced late Saturday night the outbreak at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy, where 66 residents have tested positive, including 11 who are hospitalized.
Pleasant View is a 104-bed facility that is Medicaid and Medicare certified, according to the Maryland Health Care Commission. As of last year, it had a 95 percent occupancy rate, the Medicare List website reported. A spokesman for the governor said patients who are not infected have been moved to another part of the facility.
“Tonight, Maryland has experienced a tragic coronavirus outbreak at Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy,” Hogan said in a statement. “Multiple state agencies are on the scene and working closely with the local health department and the facility as they take urgent steps to protect additional residents and staff who may have been exposed. I want to thank all of the doctors, nurses, and first responders all across our state who are working around the clock to respond to this pandemic.
“As we have been warning for weeks, older Marylanders and those with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable and at a significantly higher risk of contracting this disease.”
The governor continued to call on Marylanders to stay at home except for essential trips as the state attempts to slow the spread of the virus.
“We are leveraging the full arsenal of public health and government, but defeating this invisible enemy will require a unity of effort and spirit like nothing we have ever faced,” said Hogan.
Two weeks ago, Hogan ordered nursing homes to restrict visitors from their facilities. A spokesman for the governor said staff at Pleasant View will be tested to see if they were infected by the virus.
COVID-19 is from a family of coronaviruses that include severe acute respiratory syndrome — SARS – and Middle East respiratory syndrome. The virus takes its name for the spikes that appear on the surface of its cells that resemble crowns.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most people who catch the virus develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.
Nationally approximately 25 percent of those hospitalized because of the virus and require intensive care including the use of a ventilator and extra staffing, according to state health officials.
As of Saturday morning, there were 994 confirmed cases in Maryland. By later afternoon, the state Health Department announced that the total number of deaths in Maryland had doubled to 10.
The increases in cases again represented the largest in a 24-hour period.
“It took nearly three weeks for the National Capital Region to go from 0 to 1,000 cases of COVID-19,” said Hogan. “It took three days for the region to go from 1,000 to 2,000 cases in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. This is a rapidly evolving and escalating emergency, which is now surrounding the nation’s capital.”
Pleasant View, a for-profit facility, was given a rating of average for long-term care and below average for short-term rehabilitation services by U.S. News & World Report based on 2019 and earlier data from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services. The data includes metrics of nurse staffing, patient outcomes, facility complaints, and rehabilitation therapy.
For long-term care, Pleasant View was better than the Maryland nursing home average for pneumonia vaccinations, prevention of pressure ulcers and ability to self-care. It was above the state average for hospitalizations and emergency room visits per thousand resident days.
The nursing home has not been fined or denied payment in the last three years, U.S. News reported.
The Maryland Health Care Commission gave Pleasant View “much below average rating” for overall quality; a “better than average” rating for staffing; and an “average” rating for health inspections.