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At least five more deaths have occurred at Woodbridge Health Campus.

As previously reported, the assisted-living facility had three deaths, but that number has jumped to eight as of Tuesday. While names of some individuals have not been released, Nell Riewoldt, 90, and Dorothy L. Eldridge, 95, both residents at Woodbridge, passed away Saturday.

Helen E. Shanks, 89, of Logansport, also succumbed to complications of COVID-19 and pneumonia while being treated at Logansport Memorial Hospital. It is unknown if she was a resident at the health campus at 602 Woodbridge Ave.

According to Cass County Health Department’s Serenity Alter, Woodbridge is “doing the best they can.”

A representative of the facility contacts the health department every day to provide COVID-19 numbers and an update on the situation. Alter said she has been on site to tour the facility and check in on the residents.

The Indiana Department of Health’s Infectious Control unit also has been on scene to assess the residents and employees.

The facility remains shut down to visitors unless a loved-one is receiving end-of-life care. According to Gary Fernandez, senior vice president-chief marketing officer with Trilogy Health Services LLC, the parent company of Woodbridge, admissions to the campus are suspended.

Currently, there are 44 of 63 residents who remain positive or are presumed positive, based upon the public reporting by Trilogy. Employees who are positive or presumed positive remain at 11. There are 94 active employees.

Alter anticipates Cass County numbers to keep growing.

In fact, the Indiana Department of Health’s latest results show Cass on the incline. There are a total of 2,136 cases – eight of which are new – and a total of 16 deaths. Those numbers are likely to increase as of Friday, when each county must report updates to the state.

“People are getting careless,” said Alter, advising that it is important to wear masks, wash hands, and maintain social distancing.

Because symptoms associated with COVID-19 are similar to those of the flu and allergies, people are getting tested more often than in the past. They want to eliminate the possibility that they are positive for the virus, said Alter.

Last week, she was averaging 40 to 50 tests a day, she said. By 1 p.m. Tuesday, Alter was forced to cut off testing because the health department had already completed 80 tests. She had no doubt that the department could have done 100, but the high numbers meant employees needed time to process and analyze data.

The sheer volume of tests has prompted the health department to switch gears. Instead of accepting walk-ins, people must schedule appointments at the 1616 Smith Street site. People are encouraged to register by going to the website at https://scheduling.coronavirus.in.gov/.

As for Woodbridge, an on-site health care provider administers the tests.

Alter said Cass County has been fortunate to not experience the high positive numbers that other locations throughout the state and nation have faced. But with the “drastic increase in tests being done and with the positive numbers up,” she said all of that will change.

Reach Kristi Hileman at kristi.hileman@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5150

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