KINGSTREE, S.C. (WCSC) - Data released by the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control shows the only nursing home in Kingstree with nearly eight dozen confirmed cases among staff and residents over the past 30 days.
Carlyle Senior Care center in Kingstree has reported 56 residents and 23 staff members confirmed with the coronavirus in 30 days. Eight residents have died as a result of COVID-19 at the 96-bed facility over the past 30 days, the second-highest in the state over that time frame.
“All of our Residents have now been tested,” the nursing home said in a statement. “As the result of this widespread testing, our numbers of positive patients may appear high, especially when compared to similar organizations who have not done widespread testing. For infection control purposes, those Residents who have COVID are on different units than those Residents who do not have COVID. We are in close contact with our Physicians to determine the correct time to re-test previously tested COVID positive Residents.”
Prior to the past month, the nursing home only reported one reported case and death.
The chief medical officer for the Williamsburg Regional Hospital, Dr. Troy Gamble, said he believes he treated the first known case that entered the facility.
Gamble said the patient, who previously tested negative, arrived at Carlyle Senior Care from an outside hospital before showing symptoms.
“They were sent over here and they actually had COVID,” Gamble said. “Unfortunately it infected a number of people in the nursing home.”
The nursing home is one of the county’s top 20 largest employers.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Williamsburg County has reported 181 confirmed cases of COVID-19
Gamble said the hospital has four ICU beds and ventilators for COVID-19 patients, but they are willing to support the nursing home in any way possible.
“We’re available to admit any of the patients they feel need to be admitted,” Gamble said.
Jeff Singleton, media specialist for Williamsburg County said he was surprised to hear of the increase in the number of cases.
“I did know that we had cases and the numbers have been increasing, but I did not know it was that much,” Singleton said. “So it alarms me greatly. Because it’s the only nursing home here that has a facility of its size.”
Singleton also said he knew one of the nursing home members who died as a result of the Coronavirus.
“One I knew personally and it’s heart wrenching anytime you get a new case. It’s more heart wrenching when there’s a death as a result of getting the cases,” Singleton said. “Families are so intertwined and connected, you can’t miss knowing someone who knows someone who knows someone who’s been affected.”
Gamble said the cases seen at the Carlyle Senior Care Center are like those in other larger nursing home systems across the state.
“Once it gets into a nursing home community, I can promise you it’s going to spread through that community pretty quickly,” Gamble said. “You’ve got a captive population, the population is elderly so they are at high risk. Again, this virus is very infectious.”
Singleton said he encourages everyone to take advantage of free COVID-19 testing provided by the Medical University of South Carolina and Williamsburg county from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.
One testing location is Kingstree Senior High, West Campus.
Full statement released by the Carlyle Senior Care of Kingstree:
As you know, at Carlyle Senior Care of Kingstree, we currently have positive cases of COVID-19 in our building. We continue to provide good care for all of our Residents and are doing everything we can to prevent the further spread of this virus. We continue to be in close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps at this time. Our staff and residents continue to follow the recommended actions. We are keeping families up to date and assisting them to communicate with their loved ones through telephone and video chat visits. We continue to restrict outside visitors from entering our facility.
All information concerning newly confirmed COVID-19 cases are being reported to the required state agencies daily. These agencies report our information to the general public. In addition, we update our facility website daily with any new cases of confirmed COVID-19 and any new cases of clusters of respiratory infection symptoms. This information can be found on our website - www.carlylekingstree.com.
All of our Residents have now been tested. As the result of this wide spread testing, our numbers of positive patients may appear high, especially when compared to similar organizations who have not done widespread testing. For infection control purposes, those Residents who have COVID are on different units than those Residents who do not have COVID. We are in close contact with our Physicians to determine the correct time to re-test previously tested COVID positive Residents.
Resident health safety continues to be our top priority. At this time, MOST of those residents who have received positive results continue to demonstrate very mild or no symptoms at all. We continue to monitor them closely for changes. Should we observe significant changes in condition in any of our Residents, we are sending them to the hospital so that they can be evaluated and admitted, if necessary. Fortunately, Residents who have required hospital services have been very limited.
At Carlyle Senior Care of Kingstree, our staff have been absolutely amazing. They are extremely dedicated and continue to work very hard to provide care and services to our Residents. Our Residents are like our extended family to us and we take pride in caring for them with love, dignity and respect. We also are thankful for the support and kind gestures we have received from our community. This is a very challenging time for all of our Residents, their families, our staff and everyone who has been touched by COVID. The kindness that has been shown by our community is very much appreciated.