17848 DOH Testing Lab

Pennsylvania Commonwealth microbiologist Kerry Pollard performs a manual extraction of the coronavirus inside the extraction lab at the Pennsylvania Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories on Friday, March 6, 2020.

Ten residents of an Ephrata Borough personal-care home died of COVID-19 in the past two weeks, and a statement from the home says the virus hit there “like a bomb” in June.

The Lancaster County coroner’s office confirmed the 10 deaths at Lincoln Christian Home, which represents 16% of its 63 beds.

Several residents at the home died “due to impaired medical conditions and refusing to go to the hospital,” according to a statement from the home, which said hospice provides comfort for those who refuse hospital care.

The home reported that it began medical treatments for COVID-19 immediately once the virus hit, and the state agency that regulates personal-care homes — Department of Human Services — reached out and provided a physician who “met with our medical provider here at Lincoln and saw that we were providing proper resident care.”

The home also said the local emergency management agency provided additional N95 masks and disposable gowns.

The home reported taking temperatures twice a day and checking oxygen levels for any resident with a reading of at least 99 degrees.

The latest state report shows six resident and five staff cases at Lincoln. Asked Thursday for an update on how many people tested positive, the home said some tests were still pending and it wasn’t sure of the current total.

It noted that its sister facility, the 15-bed Cocalico Christian Home in Denver Borough, has had no COVID-19 cases.

The statement said the home’s battle against COVID-19 “is approaching victory” as residents return to health, and that it’s looking to test all residents and staff by the end of August per a state Department of Health mandate.

In the past month most homes with COVID-19 deaths have seen just one or two more a week. But before then, larger jumps were more common.

In a six-day period ending May 11, the coroner reported nine deaths at Luther Acres, five at Conestoga View and four at Homestead Village. And in an eight-day period ended May 23, the coroner reported 10 deaths at Conestoga View and six at Rose City Nursing and Rehabilitation at Lancaster.


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