Baker County nursing home says patient moved to facility brought coronavirus

Coronavirus detection test kits
Ten of the county's 11 positive cases were located at the facility.

The company that owns the nursing home in Baker County that saw a sudden spike of 10 coronavirus cases said the illness was bought into the facility from someone who was recently admitted.

The Macclenny Nursing and Rehab Center suddenly found that 10 patients in the facility had been infected with COVID-19 on Thursday. Only one other case of the infection had been reported in the county prior to the outbreak in the nursing home, the Florida Department Health data showed on the coronavirus dashboard.

Susan Kaar, vice president of compliance and quality management for the nursing home’s owning company Southern Healthcare Management LLC, sent an email to Florida Politics. She said the virus spread quickly.

“The facility’s first resident was confirmed positive soon after being admitted to the center from a local hospital.  Shortly thereafter, while monitoring residents, the center suggested testing two additional residents who appeared to be displaying signs and symptoms of COVID-19,” Kaar said in the email statement.

Those Macclenny victims were transferred to a “local hospital,” Kaar said, though she did not specify which facility.

“As a proactive and preventative measure, the facility management decided to have all residents and staff tested for the virus,” and that’s when additional cases were found, she said.

The statement did not clarify how many of the 10 victims were elderly patients and how many were staff. Kaar said privacy rights prevent the release of additional information.

“We continue to collaborate with, and appreciate the support of, the local Department of Health,” Karr said.

Baker County Commission Chair James Bennett Friday said county first responders have handled the situation and the jurisdiction is taking the outbreak in stride.

“This condition is a challenging situation for many folks,” Bennett said Friday. “Our Health Department has worked very closely and have kept us informed. Our residents are doing a great job of following the recommendations from the CDC [Centers for Disease Control] as well as the Governor. So, I’m not hearing a tremendous amount of fear right now from our society.”

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The DOH coronavirus dashboard Saturday said Baker County held steady at 11 victims of the illness with no deaths.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected]


One comment

  • Trish Jones

    April 5, 2020 at 3:04 am

    If they are referring to the 87 year old woman that was admitted to their facility I would like to make a comment about that. When she got there the room across the hall from her what’s already in quarantine for what she did not know. She was admitted there on March 11th and that being said her daughter hugs and kissed her goodbye before she went in. It just so happened that was when they had the lockdown on the nursing homes so none of her family got to see her after that. On March 20th she had a low-grade fever they tested her for the virus and it came back positive said the hospital came back and got her and took her back to their facility and when she got there a respiratory doctor came in and she showed no signs of any respiratory problems and no fever. She stayed in this hospital for 7 days never showing any signs of the virus never once did she have a fever. The hospital released her to come home on the 27th of March we got a letter from Baker County Health Department saying she did not have the virus well they worded it as if they were just thankful that she complied with isolation. I would also like to say that any of her family or friends that seen her in the hospital before she was sent to the nursing home did not get that virus. So how in the world did this lady ever have the virus this is a mystery to us. Anyway all this being said they need to report that the 87 year old woman is not the one that brought that into their facility. This is not a time to be pointing fingers but if they feel that way they need to point it at the two men that already had it when this little lady came there.

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