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3 care facilities have virus spike

Two Trumbull County nursing homes and an assisted-living facility saw a spike in COVID-19 cases last week with the Laurie Ann Nursing home in Newton Falls rising to six patient cases and four staff cases; Liberty Arms Assisted Living in Liberty Township seeing a rise to six patient cases and three staff cases; and Liberty Health Care Center nursing home rising to three patient cases and four staff cases.

It was an increase of two patient cases over last week for Laurie Ann Nursing Home, an increase of nine cases at Liberty Arms and an increase of four staff cases at Liberty Health Care Center. Laurie Ann Nursing Home’s numbers were also high two weeks ago — four patient cases and six staff cases.

The spikes are occurring at the same time that the number of cases at nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the state rose about 16 percent in the most recent week.

There were 1,167 Ohio patient cases in the newest count on Friday, compared to 999 the week before that. There were 1,185 staff cases Friday, compared to 1,030 the week before that.

There also have been isolated spikes at several other Trumbull County nursing homes in recent weeks, like an assisted living facility in Hubbard that had 11 patient cases two weeks ago, but that number dropped back down to zero patient and staff cases last week.

There have been some spikes also in Mahoning County, such as the early July, when one Austintown nursing home had 24 patient cases and nine staff cases. That facility had none last week.

Mahoning County currently has no nursing home or assisted living with more than three cases. Columbiana County cases also remain low.

Cases among the general population of Ohio rose 38.5 percent in the past three weeks — to levels not seen since the week of Feb. 10.

Sandy Swann, director of nursing at the Trumbull County Combined Health District, said danger of the return of higher numbers of COVID-19 cases, including the higher numbers at nursing homes, is reduced by the increased use of vaccines and boosters.

Swann said she believes the vaccination rates for patients at nursing homes is high. Furthermore, people who get a COVID-19 vaccine and at least one booster don’t get as ill as those who have not had those shots, she said.

“We are not seeing an increase in deaths,” she said of cases among the general population in Trumbull County. “They have gone down substantially in 2022.”

Erica Clark, epidemiologist for the Trumbull County Combined Health District, said she believes the COVID-19 numbers at Trumbull County nursing homes have been relatively similar for a couple of months.

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