Sunnyside Retirement Community confirms 2nd COVID-19 case

Photo from WHSV's Air3 drone
Photo from WHSV's Air3 drone(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 24, 2020 at 10:50 AM EDT
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A Rockingham County retirement community has confirmed a second case of COVID-19 connected to their facility.

Earlier this month, Sunnyside Communities

for COVID-19.

At that time, Rockingham County had only 20 cases and Virginia had 3,645. Just over two weeks later,


On Friday, April 24, Sunnyside said a second employee has tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to the facility, their administration was notified of the test results late Thursday afternoon and immediately shared the news with their medical director and COVID-19 Task Force members.

Residents and staff were informed Friday morning.

They say the employee is self-isolating at home to recover, per CDC guidelines.

Sunnyside is working with the Virginia Department of Health to trace any contacts the employee had to determine who else may be at risk of the virus.

Residents living in the area where the employee works have been placed in isolation and are being closely monitored.

Staff members considered to be at high risk of having been exposed will be placed under 14 days of self-isolation at home.

“Our focus is on managing the situation and protecting the health and well-being of our residents and staff,” said Josh Lyons, president & CEO of Sunnyside Communities. “We are grateful for our partnership with the Virginia Department of Health and their guidance throughout this process, and our thoughts and prayers are with the employee and their family.”

Sunnyside says they took a proactive approach to limiting the spread of COVID-19 by establishing a COVID-19 Task Force early in March to review their policies and procedures and establish new ones as needed for the coronavirus.

The Sunnyside campus was closed to all external visitors and started screening anyone entering on March 13.

“Sunnyside continues to follow the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) guidelines for infection control and prevention, including the more recent guidelines for the use of surgical/procedure face masks by staff in long term care communities,” said Lyons. “We continue to work with our partners in the medical community to encourage testing and re-testing of all healthcare workers, as well as individuals being discharged from hospitals into nursing homes.”

They say, working with a private lab, they're developing a plan to re-test employees who have previously tested positive for COVID-19.

Sunnyside is home to nearly 500 residents in independent, assisted, memory support, and healthcare living.

The disease leads to especially severe symptoms for elderly patients and

at long-term care facilities, retirement communities, and nursing homes.

Elsewhere in the Harrisonburg area,

, an outbreak has killed 13 people and infected 81.