Team member at Bridgewater Retirement Community tests positive for COVID-19

Published: Apr. 8, 2020 at 2:02 PM EDT
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On the same day that Sunnyside Communities in Harrisonburg

, a retirement community in Bridgewater has done the same.

It's unclear if the cases are related.

At this point, there have been 36 total cases confirmed in Harrisonburg, according to the Central Shenandoah Health District, as well as 20 cases in Rockingham County, among


Bridgewater Retirement Community said in a public statement on Wednesday that a team member had notified their leadership that she tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

They say they've taken immediate action in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health and are ensuring that protocols recommended by the CDC and VDH are implemented.

The team member who tested positive worked in the Harmony House of BRC. They say she was asymptomatic while at work and last worked at the facility this past Sunday, April 5.

In accordance with BRC policy, during that time, she was working with a face mask.

Later, she sought health care for what she thought was a sinus infection on Monday, when her health care provider recommended a COVID-19 test.

Bridgewater Retirement say she has been proactive in communicating with them throughout the process.

Family members of all residents in the Harmony House are being notified.

The retirement community has taken immediate action, according to its pandemic plan, including:

BRC has taken immediate action in accordance with its COVID-19 pandemic plan with protocols that include:

• Residents in the household are quarantined in their rooms.

• Team members who came into contact with the affected person have been asked not to report to work and to self-isolate per BRC protocol.

• Team members who currently work in the Harmony household are using a different entrance from all other team members.

• BRC has prepared for the possibility of resident infection by designating a COVID-19 isolation suite in a secured section of our building.

“The health and safety of our residents and team members remain our highest priority,” says BRC President Rodney Alderfer. “Our team member has our love and support as she faces this challenge, and we are doing absolutely everything possible to continue to protect all others in our community.”

Since March 13, the retirement community has been using strict prevention measures, involving screening of team members at the start of every shift, including having their temperatures taken.

Surfaces are sanitized frequently, and droplet control measures are in place, according to BRC. Visitors are prohibited, with secondary entrances to the BRC neighborhood closed since March 20. Dining venues, beauty shops, and other gathering places were closed beginning March 19. Beginning on March 27, all team members have been wearing face masks whenever their work requires them to be within six feet of a resident. In addition, all team members wear face coverings while in common areas throughout BRC’s 55-acre campus. Protocols continue to be updated according to current guidance from the CDC, CMS, VDH, and other health agencies.

For more information on BRC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can check their webpage at


COVID-19 leads to especially severe symptoms for elderly patients and

at long-term care facilities, retirement communities, and nursing homes. The Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Henrico has

. Many of West Virginia's first identified cases, and their first death, were at the Sundale nursing home in Morgantown.

Though the federal government has not been releasing a count of its own, an AP tally from media reports and state health departments indicated at least 450 deaths and nearly 2,300 infections had been linked to coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes and long-term care facilities nationwide as of April 2, and that number has only grown.

In response, similar facilities nationwide have worked to be as proactive as possible in preventing the virus from spreading in their locations.