Infections quintuple at state-run home for the disabled

Iowa Department of Public Health has refused to disclose how many long-term care workers have died from COVID-19. (Photo by Getty Images)

COVID-19 infections have soared at one of Iowa’s state-run care facilities for people with disabilities.

In the past four weeks, the number of infections at western Iowa’s Glenwood Resource Center, home to 190 profoundly disabled individuals, has increased 440%.

On Oct. 5, Glenwood reported 10 active infections among the staff, and six active infections among the residents. After four weeks, those numbers had more than quintupled. On Nov. 9, Glenwood was reporting 54 active infections among the staff and 49 active infections among the residents. Those numbers have since dropped to 44 and 43, respectively, according to the Iowa Department of Human Services.

The virus has spread less rapidly at Glenwood’s central Iowa sister facility, the Woodward Resource Center. On Oct. 5, Woodward reported a total of 19 staff and residents were positive. Within 48 hours, that number had increased to 35. On Monday of this week, the total number of active infections dropped to 21.

To date, Glenwood has recorded a total of 264 infections among the staff and residents; Woodward has recorded 188 infections.

Glenwood and Woodward are two of six care facilities run by the Iowa Department of Human Services.

State records show that the cumulative total of infections at all six of the DHS-run facilities stood at 216 at Oct. 9. As of Monday, the total was 570. The state has not publicly reported any coronavirus-related deaths at the six facilities.

Here’s a look at the cumulative total of staff and resident infections, to date, for each of the six DHS facilities, and an indication of where those numbers stood on July 28 and Oct. 5:

Glenwood Resource Center: 264 cases (was five cases on July 28, and 43 on Oct. 5)

Woodward Resource Center: 188 cases (was 53 cases on July 28, and 84 on Oct. 5)

Eldora Boys State Training School: 67 cases (was 23 cases on July 28, and 51 on Oct. 5)

Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders: 22 cases (was two cases on July 28, and eight on Oct. 5)

Cherokee Mental Health Institute: 10 cases, all staff (was one case on July 28, and eight on Oct. 5)

Independence Mental Health Institute: 19 cases, all staff (was one case on July 28, and seven on Oct. 5)

Nursing home outbreaks continue to grow

In addition to some of the state-run care facilities, Iowa’s privately run nursing homes are also seeing rapid growth in the spread of the virus.

Just three weeks ago, there were 72 current, active outbreaks at Iowa nursing homes, with 2,220 infections associated with those outbreaks. Currently, there are 2,881 infections associated with 96 outbreaks in Iowa nursing homes.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, 945 of the state’s nursing home residents and workers have died of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Assuming the IDPH data is collected and reported in the same way as data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it would mean that workers in Iowa nursing homes account for roughly 40% of all nursing home infections.

Currently, the Iowa nursing homes with the biggest, active outbreaks are:

  • Good Samaritan Home, Wapello County: 135 cases
  • Longview Home, Harrison County: 130 cases
  • Ravenwood Specialty Care, Black Hawk County: 129 cases
  • Hiawatha Care Center, Linn County: 97 cases
  • Good Neighbor Home, Delaware County: 81 cases
  • Atlantic Specialty Care, Cass County: 78 cases
  • Luther Manor, Dubuque County: 76 cases
  • Dunlap Specialty Care, Harrison County: 76 cases
  • Clarence Nursing Home, Cedar County: 74 cases