Life Care Center reports COVID-19 outbreak

Sixteen individuals identified as having the virus

PORT ORCHARD — The executive director of Life Care Center, a long-term-care nursing facility in Port Orchard, said in a statement Sept. 16 that nine residents and seven staff had tested positive for COVID-19.

Amanda Lanser, executive director of the center, said five residents are being cared for by staff in an isolated COVID section at the care center. She said one patient was transferred to a local hospital for a higher level of care.

Three of the nine residents have recovered, she said.

Five of the seven staff members have recovered, as defined by the CDC’s guidelines. Lanser said the remaining two staffers are recovering and will not return to work until they meet those guidelines.

“Our facility is a family, and we’re all working together to take care of our residents and each other,” Lanser said in the release. “We understand the virus is still a very real problem, and we remain vigilant.”

The Port Orchard facility’s sister site in Kirkland was the subject of national news coverage in March with a reported 46 fatalities there had contracted the coronavirus, according to state health officials.

Lanser also said the facility’s residents are being monitored multiple times a day and night for symptoms. Staffers are screened when they arrive for work and when they depart, including having their body temperatures checked and monitored for symptoms.

She said Life Care Center is working with the state Department of Health and Kitsap Public Health District to ensure guidelines are met.

So far, Life Care Center’s outbreak dominates the list of individuals with COVID-19 living in long-term-care facilities in Kitsap County. Kitsap Public Health lists 48 cases linked to nursing homes. The agency defines an outbreak as one resident or health care worker having a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Kitsap Public Health said that an outbreak is listed as “closed” when no new cases have been reported in 28 days.

St. Michael Medical Center in Bremerton has been battling a major COVID-19 outbreak at its facilities since August. The virus has impacted 73 patients and staff, although no new cases have been reported since earlier this month.