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Bayside Village reports seven deaths, 30 new COVID cases in weekly report

L’ANSE — Bayside Village in L’Anse reported seven deaths and 30 new cases of COVID-19 in the most recent update of state numbers from long-term care facilities.

The seven deaths, the first recorded for Bayside, were reported in an update posted Tuesday by the state Department of Health and Human Services. The number of new cases more than doubled the previous total for Bayside, which stood at 43 as of Tuesday. Four new staff cases were also reported, bringing the total to 21.

Also in Tuesday’s reporting from MDHHS, Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital recorded two COVID-19 deaths, while Canal View – Houghton County had its first.

Bayside Administrator Charles Venable reported higher numbers in a statement Wednesday. The facility had its first positive test Nov. 15, later than its peers in the U.P., Venable said. Since then, he said, there have been 50 positives, 13 related deaths and 20 residents who have recovered and moved out of Bayside’s COVID unit. Of 25 staff members who have tested positive, 17 have recovered and returned to work. Eight are recovering off-site.

“Our hearts and our sympathy go out to the family members who have lost loved ones while in our care during this unprecedented time,” he said in the statement. “The effects of the pandemic on our residents, their families and our staff have been truly heartbreaking for all involved.”

“We are thankful and grateful for the heroic efforts of our staff. The love and care that they have shown and continue to show for our residents and their families each and every day has been nothing short of inspiring.”

As of Monday, Baraga County had 71 new positive or probable cases in the previous week for a total of 477. Fifteen of Baraga County’s 21 deaths came in the same span. The county’s seven-day average case rate as of Monday — 906 per million –was more than twice the Upper Peninsula average.

Venable said the facility has implemented all recommendations and requirements from local, state and federal health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When a resident tests positive, they are transferred to Bayside’s isolated COVID unit, which is separated from the rest of the facility and has staff dedicated to it, Venable said. Residents who require a higher level of care are transferred to Baraga County Memorial Hospital.

Screening procedures include daily temperature checks and a daily questionnaire. Staff members take COVID tests weekly, while residents take them twice a week., Venable said.

Testing is done through Baraga County Memorial Hospital. Baraga’s estimated 14-day turnaround time on testing was 4.69 days as of Nov. 26, according to state data. Symptomatic residents are tested in-facility with its Antigen machine.

Under current restrictions, in-person visitation is restricted to residents in end-of-life moments. Bayside has worked to coordinate video streaming or phone calls with relatives. The facility has several iPads and phones available, Venable said.

“We know how difficult this is for our residents and their families,” he said in the statement. “We experience it every day. Our front-line team is passionate about caring for our residents and their wellbeing and will continue to support them and their families in any and all ways possible.”

The long-term care data is updated weekly at michigan.gov/coronavirus. Most in the Copper Country are skilled nursing facilities, aside from Gardenview which is classified as a home for the aged.

Totals from other long-term care facilities in the Copper Country:

• Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital: no new resident cases (87 total), two deaths (eight total), no new staff cases (28 total).

• Canal View – Houghton County: no new resident cases (one total), one new death (one total), one new staff case (nine total).

• Gardenview: new resident cases not available (zero total), new deaths not available (zero total), new staff cases not available (four total).

• GreenTree at Hubbell: no resident cases, no new staff cases (14 total).

• Portagepointe: No new resident cases (five total), no new staff cases (six total).

• The Lighthouse at Hancock: No new resident cases (one total), two new staff cases (one total).

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