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    COVID-19 ravages Blanding care center; 3 die

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    COVID-19 continues to ravage San Juan County. The Navajo Nation has been hit hard by the virus and now there has been an outbreak among the highly vulnerable residents of the Four Corners Regional Care Center in Blanding. Six of the 10 Utahns who died of COVID-19 on Monday were from San Juan and three of those six were in a nursing home.

    The exterior of the Four Corners Regional Care Center in Blanding, Utah.
    The Four Corners Regional Care Center in Blanding is the site of a COVID-19 outbreak in already beleaguered San Juan County.
    Courtesy photo

    As of July 12, a total of 33 residents and 17 staff members have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The virus has been spreading rapidly through the facility, with the number of positive tests among residents increasing from 5 to 21 in just one day last week. Three infected residents have died.

    On June 28, a staff member at the facility tested positive. Despite aggressive efforts to stop the spread of the virus, it has spread to 25 people in the past week.

    All residents and staff have been tested for COVID-19 and have received the results.

    A secure wing of the facility has been designated to care for and treat residents who have tested positive. It is separate from the rest of the building and residents.

    In addition, the care center reports that staff and essential medical personnel are fully outfitted with personal protective equipment as needed.

    The center reports that, “most residents who have tested positive have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic.”

    The four staff members who work at the facility and who have tested positive are quarantining in their own homes.

    The center continues to work closely with the Utah Department of Health and the Bureau of Epidemiology and is following all their recommended protocols regarding the treatment, care and safety of all residents and staff.

    The center reports that they have been “verbally contacting all residents, resident families, POAs, and staff” to inform them of the positive tests.

    The facility has been on restricted access since March 13, and continues to prohibit visitors. Only essential staff and medical personnel who pass a medical screening are allowed in the facility. No visitors have entered the facility since that date.

    San Juan County has had 481 coronavirus cases, resulting in more than 60 hospitalizations and 17 deaths. The case rate in San Juan County is easily the highest in the State of Utah and among the highest counties in the United States.

    The northern portion of the county is in a yellow advisory status, with the Navajo Nation portion of the county continuing in a red status.

    A version of this story was first published in the San Juan Record.

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