A resident at The Kensington assisted living center in the City of Falls Church has tested positive for COVID-19, the Fairfax County Health Department reported today. It is the first reported case of the coronavirus in the City.
According to the county’s health department, the individual has been in isolation since he showed symptoms of respiratory illness last Saturday, March 14. Specimens were collected from the resident on Monday and sent to the Virginia state laboratory.
In a press release, City of F.C. officials report seven other individuals at the facility who were also symptomatic were tested and the test results were all negative.
“The virus has now hit home for our community as it has for so many communities around our country and around the world,” said City of Falls Church Mayor David Tarter in a statement. “It underscores just how serious this pandemic is, and the importance of following the recommendations and mandates of our health care professionals.”
Two Kensington staff members are currently awaiting test results after running fevers, a statement from the senior care center said. In a release, the facility reports one member of its staff, who took their own temperature and called out on Friday, has not returned to the building and is awaiting test results. In addition, another staff member was told to leave the facility after developing a fever during their shift. They have also been tested and are waiting for the results.
“The Department of Health has been an invaluable partner in helping us mobilize the resources we need to protect, test and monitor the health of our residents and staff,” said Amy Feather, executive director of The Kensington Falls Church. “We are extremely grateful to them for their help.”
Fairfax County Health Director Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu said “When COVID-19 occurs in a setting where there are many older people with underlying health conditions, we are concerned. We’ll be working very closely with the facility over the coming days to protect other residents and staff and prevent further spread.”
As per guidance from the CDC for health care communities, The Kensington had already been limiting visitors and canceled all events and outings prior to the positive result.
“We had asked families not to visit or take residents out into the community,” said Feather. “We had canceled all but critical doctor’s appointments for residents. Our teams are creative and have set up virtual ways for residents and family members to connect in lieu of in-person visits. They are arranging these virtual visits through Facetime or video chats.”
The City of Falls Church is a member of the Fairfax Health District which also includes Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax.