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Friendship Manor employee in Rock Island tests positive for COVID-19. Patients and staff are being monitored closely.

Friendship Manor employee in Rock Island tests positive for COVID-19. Patients and staff are being monitored closely.


Scott County health officials on Thursday reported four new cases of the COVID-19 virus, bringing the county's total to seven, while Rock Island County announced one new case, bringing its total to four.

Among the Quad-City confirmed cases to date is an employee of the skilled care unit at Rock Island's Friendship Manor, a retirement community with about 80 residents in that unit, Julie Arndt, marketing director, said.

"We are seeing more cases in Rock Island County, which is what we expect,” Nita Ludwig, the county's public health administrator, said.  "We must all do our duty and stay home and socially distance ourselves when we must go out for supplies or go to work. That's all still very, very important.”

The Friendship Manor employee last worked at her job two weeks ago, according to a news release from Friendship Manor. "Over the following weekend (the employee) attended a group event in the community, developing symptoms shortly thereafter and subsequently quarantined at home," the release states.

"The employee shared the results with the Manor on Wednesday and local and state public health officials were promptly notified. The employee had not exhibited any symptoms of the virus when last scheduled and has not worked at Friendship Manor since," the news release said.

Residents, staff and visitors are being monitored closely for symptoms and none have been observed, Arndt said.

Staff is not doing anything extraordinary in response, as screening protocols from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control already were being followed, she said.

The only exception is heightened communication with the entire community — staff, residents and families.

Ted Pappas Jr., CEO and president of Friendship Manor, said in the release that "residents and their families have been extraordinarily understanding through this process with restrictive visitation, social distancing and the cessation of group activities." 

Friendship Manor is a faith-based, non-profit, 501(c)(3) community founded by The International Order of The King's Daughters and Sons, Illinois Branch located in Rock Island. 

The latest case reported in Rock Island County is a man in his 60s who is being treated in a local hospital.

Of Rock Island's cases, two were community-spread, Ludwig said.

Scott County: Meanwhile, Scott County reported that of its four new cases announced Thursday, one is elderly and three are between 41 and 60 years old. Health officials said they did not know if these people were in hospitals or at their homes or where they might have contracted the virus. 

In an online news conference of Quad-City health officials, Ed Rivers, director of the Scott County Health Department, said hospitals have sufficient staff and beds at this time.

 As to whether college dorms are being prepared for use should cases snowball, Ludwig of Rock Island County said emergency management teams have mass care and sheltering plans in place, but they are not being activated at this time.

Statewide in Illinois: Public health officials reported 673 new cases on Thursday, and seven deaths. The dead were a man in his 50s, two men and two women in their 60s, a man in his 70s, and a woman in her 90s. About  87% of fatalities are among patients 60 years of age and older.

Overall, Illinois is reporting a total of 2,538 cases, including 26 deaths, in 37 counties. Ages range from younger than one to 99.

Statewide in Iowa:  Public health officials reported 34 additional cases on Thursday, for a total of 179 in 37 counties. Just one coronavirus-related death has been reported thus far.

Also Thursday:

• Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street,  Davenport, opened a 40-foot by 40-foot emergency room tent next to its regular emergency room to screen patients displaying symptoms of COVID-19 illness or other viruses, including cough, fever and shortness of breath.

You do not need a doctor's order to visit this temperature-controlled tent, but you will incur the same charges as you would had you visited a regular emergency room, Craig Cooper, senior communications specialist, said.

"This is an extension of the emergency department but will be specifically for patients with mild to moderate virus symptoms," Dr. David Dierks, medical director of the emergency department, said in a news release. 

The goal is to not spread any virus to possibly high-risk patients in the emergency department, he said. Patients will be separated by recommended spacing in the tent.

If indicated by symptoms, patients will be referred to the regular emergency room for additional care. Other patients will have a medical exam, will possibly have samples taken for COVID-19 testing and if samples are taken, the patient will receive directions for self-isolation at home until test results are available.

Meanwhile, Genesis is continuing to operate its drive-through testing tents at 1520 W. 53rd St., Davenport, and the Genesis HealthPlex, 3900 28th Ave. Drive, Moline.

People DO need a Genesis Health Group doctor's order to use these sites that test for COVID-19 as well as seasonal flu and strep. Patients remain in their cars for testing. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. 

Cooper did not have a number of people using these sites, but said "the numbers of samples being collected for testing ... is trending upward and we expect that trend to continue.''

• The Illinois Public Health Association announced Thursday a donation of 30,000 gloves to statewide health care providers in the fight against the pandemic.

• Five Quad-City area colleges that are part of the QCCOLLEGES.COM initiative are donating personal protection equipment, or PPE, masks, ace shields and gloves they don't currently need because their health sciences programs are being conducted through distance delivery. 

Donations from Augustana College, Black Hawk College, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, St. Ambrose University and Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences will be evenly distributed between Genesis Health System and UnityPoint-Trinity, according to a news release from St. Ambrose.

Palmer College of Chiropractic and Western Illinois University-Quad-Cities are also members of the initiative, but Palmer is using its PPE in its main clinic that remains open for non-routine emergent care and Western has no PPE.

The donations are being made in coordination with Ryan and Associates, a plumbing and heating contractor.

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