Oakwood Community

Front line workers at Oakwood Community Health Center are pictured social distancing for a photo in front of their sign.

JACKSON — The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) tracks positive COVID-19 cases across the state of Ohio through its website. The website recently showed that a recent lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in Jackson County was reported in a local nursing home.

The ODH is reporting that particular case involved a resident at Oakwood Community Health Center, located at 8668 State Route 93, between Jackson and Oak Hill.

Reportedly, that resident was tested a second and third time days later, and the individual tested negative for the virus.

Jackson County Health Commissioner Kevin Aston told The Courier that resident could be a false positive but it could also be that the resident’s duration of illness ended and that their viral load was lower, therefore, they tested negative.

“It is unknown at this time whether or not this person had it or it was a false positive,” Aston added.

Aston stated by using the Ohio Department of Health’s case definitions it was a test positive at first and will remain as a confirmed case. He doesn’t believe the ODH will be changing their case definition, so that will remain online as a case.

No staff members nor additional residents, at this point in time, are listed as having the virus.

Aston also stated that the Jackson County Health Department is “satisfied and impressed” with the way Oakwood Community Health Center is operating.

“After interviewing the staff at Oakwood, the Jackson County Health Department was very impressed at the infection protocols they have in place, which may explain why they haven’t had any other confirmed cases or outbreaks at that facility. They are doing a great job over there at Oakwood,” Aston added.

This information was provided by the ODH through its website: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/…/long-term-care-facilit…/cases.

The website says that these numbers regarding nursing homes will be updated each Wednesday as the ODH receives information from local health departments. The ODH explained that residents and family members should understand that the presence of COVID-19 at a facility is no way an indicator of a facility that isn’t following proper procedures.

Oakwood Community Health Center Administrator Bonnie McCain says the individual in question was tested in early May with a mouth swab and it came back as a lab-confirmed (positive) COVID-19 case. The positive test result was then reported to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

McCain explained the individual was tested for the virus because he or she was awaiting a medical procedure. The individual didn’t have any symptoms; however, the test showed up as positive.

She went on to tell The Courier that several days later that individual was tested again using a nasal swab and that test came back negative. The individual was actually tested a third time and it came back negative, as well.

McCain believes that the first case was actually a “false positive.”

“We don’t have any positive cases currently in our building,” McCain told The Courier. “I am not concerned about our building.”

McCain reported that several residents and staff members have been tested for COVID-19 and have all returned negative.

“We will just not know if it was a false positive for sure, it may have very well been but we won’t know for sure,” explained Aston.

The Courier asked Aston about the new antibody blood testing. Aston doesn’t know if Oakwood will be doing the antibody test or not. The resident would have to agree to the testing.

The CDC reports that an antibody blood tests, also called antibody tests, check your blood by looking for antibodies, which show if you had a previous infection with the virus.

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