Darke County nursing home reports largest COVID-19 outbreak in Ohio this week

Health commissioner says contact tracing in other cases has been challenging with people not cooperating

GREENVILLE — Rest Haven nursing home in Greenville recorded the largest outbreak of COVID-19 for long-term care facilities in Ohio this week.

Data from the state’s coronavirus website shows 55 residents and four staff members at the facility on North Ohio Street contracted the virus.

The Darke County Health Commissioner said this week’s numbers come from an outbreak that started at the facility in late July. The total cases for the entire outbreak are 57 residents and seven staff members.

“Numbers in a confined facility like this are easy to get quite high,” said Health Commissioner Terrence Holman.

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The resident cases account for 6.8 percent of all resident cases reported to the state this week based on the new data from the Ohio Department of Health.

The outbreak comes as Gov. Mike DeWine said Darke County ranked third in the state for highest occurrence of coronavirus per 100,000 people this week. From July 28 to Aug. 10, Darke County saw 164.3 cases per 100,000 people, state data shows.

“We are seeing an uptick in community spread,” Holman said. “Our numbers actually get doubled to make that count.”

Contact tracing, a key practice used by health departments to help curb the virus, has not been easy for tracers in Darke County.

“We have those that don’t want to acknowledge every place they’ve been, plus those that don’t want to cooperate,” he said. “Some of them hang up. Some of them kind of tell us what they think in no unpleasant words.”

Holman said tracing is key to isolating hot spots and trying to find where the virus originated. He said Darke County has seen several cases where the virus was brought in from somewhere else.

“Some of these cases are coming from out of county and others are spread within family units,” he said.