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Sundale brings back therapy services

Fourteen people — residents and staff — at Sundale Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care remain positive for the COVID-19 virus, while 40 have recovered, the facility’s medical director said Friday.
And with the number of infected residents going down, Dr. Carl Shrader, who is also a West Virginia University Medicine physician, said they will begin to look at bringing in a new patient, a man whose wife is a resident.
“They want to be together,” Shrader said.
Shrader said since March 22, when the first case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed at Sundale, 59 people — residents and staff — have recovered, giving the facility a 68% recovery rate. There are also no hospitalized Sundale residents and there have been five deaths attributed to the virus since the outbreak began, he said.
Sundale is now bringing back services for its 84 residents, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, all of which were temporarily discontinued when staff and residents became infected with COVID-19.
Residents have also been dining mostly in their rooms since March and eating their meals on disposable dinner ware. Shrader said they are looking at ways small groups can eat together.
“We want them to be able to socialize.”
To keep people safe, Sundale will have a permanent isolation unit on the first floor of the East wing. This is currently where residents with confirmed cases of the virus are kept, Shrader said. Testing will continue until the novel coronavirus is no longer present in the building. Also, temperature monitoring will continue and people will be required to wear personal protection equipment.
Shrader said they are looking at ways residents can safely visit with their families. One option could be a clear, plastic box where the residents can be inside and able to talk face-to-face with their loved ones, he said.
“We had hoped to have something by Mother’s Day,” he said.
Many residents are getting new blood tests to see if they have gotten the virus and recovered without knowing it. These blood tests will show if a person has developed an antibody, which could show a possible immunity to the coronavirus, said Shrader, adding no results are yet available.
There have been 62 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in West Virginia, including the five at Sundale. There are 114 confirmed cases of the virus in Monongalia County, according to the state Department of Health and Human Resources.
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