By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 21 — With media attention focused on an outbreak of COVID-19 at a local nursing home — and the 18 confirmed fatalities that have followed — the facility’s administrator says that the whole story is not being told.
“We have a lot of residents who are asymptomatic,” Jill Irby said. “Just because someone tests positive, it does not mean they are sick and are going to die.”
After testing 109 residents and 117 staff at Skyview on April 22, a few days later the facility reported that 59 residents and 18 staff had tested positive for COVID-19. Those figures had not been updated until now.
Currently, there are 85 residents at Skyview Springs who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Irby, but only three are showing signs of the virus.
“The other 82 are asymptomatic and are doing fine,” Irby said. “I don’t think that the media is telling that part of the story.”
Skyview’s administrator said that about 50 residents that tested positive have now recovered.
“Just because they test positive, everyone seems to think it’s a death sentence, and that’s just not true,” Irby said.
As of Thursday, the Virginia Department of Health reported that 186 of 314 total outbreaks of COVID-19 in Virginia (59.2 percent) have been in longterm care facilities. Seven of the 15 outbreaks reported within the Lord Fairfax Health District have been in longterm care facilities.
And while those outbreaks statewide have only produced about 12.6 percent of the state’s cases (4,304 of 34,137), longterm care facilities have accounted for 59.5 percent of Virginia’s COVID-19 related deaths (654 of 1,099).
The fatality rate in these facilities during the pandemic has been 15.2 percent in Virginia.
However, that also means that 3,650 of our most vulnerable residents who live in longterm care facilities — or 84.8 percent of those who tested positive — have survived COVID-19.
“Many of our residents [at Skyview] are showing no signs of symptoms or illness,” Irby said. “I think that side of the story should be told.”