COVID-19 outbreak at LTC facility turns deadly in Pinetop-Lakeside as facility stays quiet

Posted at 9:15 AM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 12:34:04-04

Federal officials confirm to ABC15 that there has been one death inside a long-term care facility, Haven of Lakeside, in a small community just outside Show Low.

A spokesperson for Centers for Medicaid and Medicare tells us that one death was reported in the most recent report available from Oct. 18.

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Along with this death, a spokesperson for CMS says the 41 cases that were reported by the facility were based on that one week of reporting ending on Oct. 18.

According to a public database from the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), Haven of Lakeside reported zero cases or deaths on the previous weekly report dated Oct. 11.

You can find that database here.

Officials with the facility have not commented on the outbreak.

Dana Kennedy, with the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Retired Persons (AARP), tells ABC15 that the facility has capacity for 112 beds, but said they are likely not all filled. That would mean at least one-third of all residents are positive.

“The other thing that is absolutely critical is transparency, it is why we have called for transparency from day one because the workers live in the community, and if there’s an outbreak in the facility, it was most likely not brought in from a worker,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy said schools consider two or more positive cases an outbreak, so she says this would be considered an outbreak to her.

It is unclear if any staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, but Kennedy said it would be likely.

Fire officials with the Timber Mesa Fire District tell ABC15 in the past 16 days, they have responded 24 times for COVID-related calls at this location.

Kennedy said the facility is a skilled nursing facility that is being paid by Medicare, as well as the state Medicaid. She thinks that the state needs to be looking at this nursing facility's licensing status.