Staff and residents at one area nursing home have tested positive for COVID-19 as cases of the disease rise sharply in Miami County. Another has now seen positive cases among staff members.
Updated numbers from the Indiana Department of Health on Wednesday showed that five staff members at Miller’s Merry Manor have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and at least one resident has tested positive as well. The state’s website that publishes reported nursing home cases does not -- for reasons of privacy -- publish exact case counts if fewer than five in either the staff or resident category have tested positive.
A call to a representative at Miller’s corporate office seeking an exact count was not returned Wednesday.
The new numbers showed that fewer than five staff members have also tested positive at the Blair Ridge Health Campus.
Until this month, there had been no reported cases among residents at any of the area’s long term care facilities.
In August, when Indiana officials first started publishing nursing home numbers on the COVID-19 website, the only known cases were fewer than five staff members at Miller’s and fewer than five staff cases at Aperion Estates.
The new cases come as Miami County, and the state, see a jump in new cases. Since Oct. 7, Miami County cases have jumped by 57, from 455 to 512. The seven-day positivity rate for all tests administered, on Wednesday, sat at 6.9 %. The “unique individuals” rate was 9.1 %.
On Oct. 7, the all-tests average rate was 1.1 % and the “unique” rate was 2.5 %.
That trend in the wrong direction saw state officials change Miami County from the lowest ranking of blue to the next level of yellow on the state’s “county metrics” map. As of Wednesday, only neighboring Howard County remained blue.
Cass County, the only neighboring county on Wednesday to be marked with the orange designation, saw a recent jump in cases there “attributable to congregate settings,” the website said.
The climbing local numbers coincide with similar trends around the state.
On Friday, The Associated Press reported that officials in the state reported 1,832 newly confirmed cases of the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. That was a single-day record for the state that was broken on Saturday when officials reported another 1,945 cases.
The state, on Wednesday, reported 1,172 new cases and 14 news deaths.
To date, four deaths in Miami County have been attributed to COVID-19.