Two additional residents at a state-run facility that provides care to Iowans with severe disabilities have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Iowa Department of Human Services said Friday that three residents at the Woodward Resource Center have now tested positive for the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus. The agency confirmed a presumptive COVID-19 case announced earlier this week.
DHS spokesman Matt Highland also said an employee at the Woodward center has tested positive for COVID-19. It’s the first time a staffer at the facility has tested positive.
The three Woodward center residents have been moved to separate on-campus housing, according to Highland. They will transition back to their primary residence after their symptoms improve and they meet specific criteria.
The agency had previously announced that five employees at four different facilities had tested positive for the virus. The announcement Friday means six DHS employees who work at five different facilities have tested positive to date. The agency has about 2,200 staff at its six state facilities, according to Highland.
The Woodward resident whose presumptive COVID-19 case was reported this week was considered the first known resident at any of the agency’s facilities to test positive.
No staffer at the Glenwood Resource Center has tested positive for the illness. Both the Woodward and Glenwood facilities house individuals with severe disabilities. The six facilities under DHS control provide care to some of the state’s most vulnerable populations.
One of the infected staff members works at the state mental health facility in Cherokee; another works at a similar facility in Independence; one staffer works at the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders at the Cherokee mental health facility; two staffers work at the Eldora Boys State Training School.
The agency had previously noted that most of the DHS employees had not been on site for multiple days before testing positive.
Barbara Rodriguez covers health care and politics for the Register. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 515-284-8011. Follow her on Twitter @bcrodriguez.