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Husband waiting to bring wife home from Luray nursing facility as all residents are tested

Bill said the first thing he's going to do when he can be with his wife again is give her a big hug.
Bill said the first thing he's going to do when he can be with his wife again is give her a big hug.(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 6:02 PM EDT
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UPDATE (April 24):

A man who was hoping to bring his wife home from a rehab center this week received devastating news Friday morning.

Bill McDaniel informed WHSV that he received a call from Page County's Skyview Rehab and Nursing Center informing him that his wife, Susane, tested positive for COVID-19.

Earlier this week, after

, they began testing all residents and staff, with results expected to take about three days.

"I just can't wait, I got my phone right here just waiting for the call that she comes back negative," Bill told us on Thursday. "That's going to be some happy news for me."

Patients whose results do come back negative can leave the facility as soon as possible. But patients who test positive will be isolated to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

Neither the facility nor the Lord Fairfax Health District have yet released the overall results of the wide-scale testing as they work to notify families first.

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For almost 40 years, Bill and Susane McDaniel have been happily married, living in Elkton after having kids and becoming grandparents.

"I guess she's my soulmate, she's put up with me this long enough, I might as well keep her," Bill laughed.

The two had not spent too much time apart from each other until this past January, when Susane started living at Skyview Rehab and Nursing Center in Page County, due to an injury.

Bill said throughout those past months, he would stop by the center to visit his wife, take her outside, share a laugh, and eat some snacks.

But since March, it's been hard for him to see Susane because of restrictions on visitation due to COVID-19 at the facility, like similar facilities nationwide.

Bill said in the past few weeks, he's only been able to wave to her from the parking lot as she sits outside in her wheelchair.

"It's been at least a month or close to a month where I haven't had physical contact with her," Bill said. "We miss the hugs and we just miss each other."

Bill said he was getting ready to bring his wife home on Wednesday to get her out of situations that have been dangerous around the country and took extra measures to make sure their home was clean.

He said he even took a leave of absence from his job so he wouldn't bring anything into their home that could get his wife sick.

Then, the last thing he hoped to hear: He was notified by his wife that

.

According to the Lord Fairfax Health District, which covers much of the northern Shenandoah Valley, a resident of Skyview Springs Rehab and Nursing Center received positive test results for the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, April 21. In collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health, the facility let the public know on Wednesday, April 22.

"That scared her half to death," Bill said.

Bill said his wife is 61-years-old and he's afraid for her because of her health. He said she is susceptible to the coronavirus and was notified this week that every staff member and patient, including his wife, was being tested for COVID-19 after the positive case.

He said he was told he is unable to pick her up until her test results come back and then can only do so if they're negative. Staff told him the results take about 76 hours to return.

Bill is praying that the outcome at this facility will be nothing like

, and that his wife will be able to come home.

"I just can't wait, I got my phone right here just waiting for the call that she comes back negative," Bill said. "That's going to be some happy news for me."

The administrator of the facility told WHSV in a phone call Thursday morning that any patient whose results come back negative may leave the facility as soon as possible. However, this does not apply to residents who permanently live at the facility with nowhere else to go.

On Wednesday, Skyview Springs provided the following statement on their response to COVID-19:

The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff have been and will continue to be our shared and ongoing concern. Even before this first confirmed case, we began working diligently with local and state health departments, and utilized guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to implement the best protocols available to combat any spread of the virus. This has included constantly monitoring all residents for any COVID-19 symptoms along with conducting daily staff screenings. We have already instituted a policy, which will remain in place for the foreseeable future, that a staff member must stay home if any symptoms of a respiratory illness arise, irrespective of their cause. Since the very first confirmed cases in Virginia, we have restricted resident visitations and will be continuing this policy for the foreseeable future. However, we understand that connecting with family members and loved ones is incredibly important for the health and wellbeing of our residents, especially at this trying time. Therefore, we will continue to encourage connecting virtually by telephone or video call, email, text, and instant messaging. CDC recommendations on visitation are continuously being updated, and state strategies are shifting as well. As they do, we will be immediately updating our policies and efforts accordingly.

There have been 10 total COVID-19 outbreaks reported in the Lord Fairfax Health District, including five in congregate settings, three in healthcare settings, and two in long-term care facilities. Exactly which facilities are included amid those reported outbreaks is unclear, and the Virginia Department of Health cannot legally report facility information without the facility's approval.

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