Coronavirus outbreak in Ames nursing home continues to grow

David Mullen
Staff Writer
Ames Tribune

Health officials reported 39 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Story County over the Fourth of July weekend.

Four of the new cases are connected to Accura Healthcare of Ames, which the state earlier reported had an outbreak when three residents and three staff members tested positive.

On Monday afternoon, Lori Toti, the nursing care facility’s vice president of strategic and organizational engagement, told the Tribune five residents and five staff members had tested positive for the virus.

The facility has tested all of its residents and staff members and is awaiting a number of those results, Toti said in an emailed statement.

Steve Sullivan, a spokesperson for Mary Greeley Medical Center and Story County Public Health, confirmed the additional cases but did not have any information about where the individuals were tested or their current status.

Though numbers of new cases are decreasing throughout Story County, officials from Story County Public Health are still worried about a possible spike after the holiday weekend.

“Hopefully, people followed safety measures that we have been emphasizing and we won’t see a significant increase in positive cases,” county Public Health Director Les White said in an emailed statement to the Tribune.

County Board of Health Chair Dr. John Paschen said he’s hopeful the number will continue to decrease, but that it will take time to determine whether they are actually on the wane.

“We’re going to have to hold our breath to see if we see a huge spike (of cases) within the next two or three weeks,” Paschen said.

Currently, Mary Greeley has eight admitted patients with COVID-19, Sullivan said.

Since June 29, 88 new cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in Story County, which is 61 fewer cases than were reported over the previous seven-day period, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s coronavirus website.

In June, Story County had a major surge in positive cases as 563, or 72.3% of the county’s pandemic total, were reported by health officials.

During the holiday weekend, state health officials reported 1,690 new cases of the novel coronavirus throughout the state.

Since the virus breached the boarders of Iowa, more than 31,600 state residents have tested positive for the virus and 722 have died.

In Story County, since testing for the virus began, more than 8,500 individuals have been tested, with 9.1% positive for the coronavirus, according to the state’s website.

In addition, of the 778 county residents who have tested positive for the virus, 357 have fully recovered. Three residents have died.