Wildflower Court staff and residents are quarantining after the City and Borough announced a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the site. So far, all affected residents and staff are asymptomatic. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

Residents and staff at care facility still symptom-free

The majority of staff and residents are vaccinated.

All affected residents and staff of Wildflower Court remain asymptomatic despite the identification of a cluster of COVID-19 cases there, said the long-term care facility’s administrator.

On Thursday, the City and Borough announced a cluster of nine COVID-19 infections at the site. Subsequent rapid antigen testing found one more case, bringing the total number of infections to 10.

“It’s always bad news when you have an outbreak,” said Wildflower Court administrator Ruth Johnson. “But, the good news is that everyone is asymptomatic.”

New coronavirus cases include seven at long-term care facility

Within the facility, 70% of staff and residents have received both doses of vaccine, according to the city. The positive cases are a mix of people who’ve received no doses, received one dose, or received both.

For those who tested positive but who had received both vaccine doses, the two weeks required for full vaccine efficacy had not passed when their positive results were received.

Quarantine orders are in place

Visitors have not been allowed at the facility since March 2020, and additional quarantine measures began after the first positive test came back.

“Right now, positive residents can’t leave their room or neighborhoods,” Johnson said. She explained that the building’s design, which features neighborhood areas, makes it easier to isolate smaller groups of people.

She said congregate activities, such as dining, aren’t happening.

“People are pretty used to quarantining now,” Johnson said.

The facility has 55 residents and 120 staff members. Johnson said they would continue to test all staff and residents at least twice a week until 14 days pass without a positive result.

Local COVID-19 risk level to remain at moderate

Johnson said that when the state lab results came in Thursday identifying the cluster, the staff acted quickly.

“It was crisis management mode to get everyone tested and isolated with lots of decision making, testing, and reporting, she said.

But, as of Friday afternoon, she had not heard specific reports of concern from residents.

“I have an amazing crew of health care angels who work best under pressure. The fact that people are vaccinated is a comfort to everyone,” Johnson said.

•Contact Dana Zigmund at dana.zigmund@juneauempire.com or 907-308-4891.

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