24 residents, 3 staff members test positive for coronavirus at Tucson nursing home

24 residents, 3 staff members test positive for COVID-19 at Tucson nursing home
Posted at 12:05 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 15:16:27-04

A Tucson nursing home is at the center of more than two dozen of Pima County's 187 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Sapphire of Tucson, which is just south of University Medical Center-South near Country Club Road and I-10, confirmed to KGUN 9 that 24 of its residents and three of its employees have tested positive for the coronavirus. A public relations agent representing the home confirmed the news, but wouldn't say whether any of those who tested positive had died.

The Pima County Health Department hasn't said how many deaths have occurred at Sapphire of Tucson. But a PCHD official did confirm that Sapphire of Tucson is one of a "small handful" of hot spot outbreaks in Pima County.

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In a statement, Sapphire of Tucson said the source of the infection remains unclear and is under investigation. The statement says the nursing home has restricted visitors to its community in compliance with state and federal guidelines.

"Members of our staff are also complying with guidelines for infection prevention and control," the statement said. "We have instructed any staff member who believes they may have been exposed to the virus, or are developing symptoms of respiratory infection, to leave work and self-isolate at home."

The representative of the nursing home declined to give details on personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, masks and gowns it has available for staff.