KENOSHA COUNTY -- The Kenosha County Division of Health announced Wednesday, May 27 that six COVID-19-positive residents of a long-term care facility in the City of Kenosha have died in recent weeks.
The deaths occurred at The Bay at Sheridan Health and Rehabilitation Center. The news was a shock to Paul Woodward; his mother calls the facility home, and he hadn't heard there was an outbreak.
"To see through the local paper that they had six deaths, that was kind of frustrating," Woodward said. "I would have liked to hear, 'Hey we have a case, we have two cases,' not the sudden the state is now reporting that you have multiple deaths."
Kenosha County Health Officer Dr. Jen Freiheit said five individuals were on hospice care and already in comfort measures prior to testing positive for COVID-19. The facility has tested all of its residents and staff and has moved all COVID-19-positive residents to one wing to keep them isolated.
“The Bay at Sheridan has been doing everything right, when it comes to handling this heartbreaking situation,” Freiheit said. “We appreciate the facility’s open communication with the Division of Health, and its diligence in attending to the needs of its residents and staff.”
“We continue to work with both the local and state health departments to ensure that we are taking all appropriate infection control practices,” Cannon said. “We are working with the local Department of Health to get the lab results in a timely manner; this will help us isolate all future COVID-19 residents right away," said Mitzie Cannon, Regional Clinical Director for Champion Care, which oversees The Bay at Sheridan.
State health officials now say over 40% of COVID-19 deaths are from long-term care facilities. Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said testing remains a priority.
"Our goal with the testing initiative, testing priority is to double-down on our efforts with the communities to protect as many folks who live in these facilities," said Palm.
The Kenosha County Joint Information Center urges people with questions about COVID-19 that they cannot answer online to dial 2-1-1 or visit the 2-1-1 website.