*This story has been updated with comment from the Titpon County Health Department on the number of positive cases of COVID-19 at Miller's Merry Manor.
TIPTON – A recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Tipton County is due in large part to an outbreak in a long-term care facility.
Multiple patients at Miller’s Merry Manor in Tipton, 300 Fairgrounds Road, have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a company press release forwarded to the Tribune by the Tipton County Health Department.
The release states the facility found out about it’s first positive test on July 16 and that “since that time, through our contact tracing and testing, we have received additional positive test results for some of our patients,” the release said.
The release doesn’t state how many at the facility have tested positive so far but a since deleted Facebook post by the health department on Tuesday night stated the county had nearly 40 at a long-term care facility test positive recently. Included in the Facebook post was the full, multi-paragraph release from Miller’s Merry Manor sent out late last week.
An Thursday morning email sent by the Tipton County Health Department confirmed that Miller's Merry Manor has had 37 positive cases of COVID-19.
A representative at Miller’s Merry Manor’s corporate office told the Tribune an executive with the company would be sending the newspaper a statement but nothing had been received by the Tribune as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Tipton County’s total confirmed cases have nearly tripled since July 15, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. The county had 35 cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 on July 13. That number now sits at 89 as of Tuesday, according to the ISDH.
As positive cases have spiked in Tipton County, so too have deaths due to COVID-19. For more than three months, from April to July, the number of deaths in the county due to the virus was just one. As of Tuesday, deaths are now at five.
Here is the full press release sent by Miller’s Merry Manor:
“Like many healthcare facilities in our State, Miller’s in Tipton is caring for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. On July 16th, we were notified that a patient tested positive for the virus. Since that time, through our contact tracing and testing, we have received additional positive test results for some of our patients. These patients were relocated to a designated COVID isolation unit within our nursing facility and most have displayed minimal or no symptoms. At this time, we are continuing to test residents and our staff with the assistance of IU Tipton Hospital and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). Additionally, ISDH is providing guidance from their survey team and Infection Control Prevention team.
“At Miller’s, the health and well-being of our residents and employees are our primary focus. Since the beginning of the pandemic we have been diligent in following the guidelines of the CDC and the Indiana State Department of Health. For all of us in healthcare, these are unprecedented times and we appreciate the assistance that our Medical Director, Dr. Harper, the hospital and staff, physicians and local authorities have given to us as we work through this situation together. We are continuing to work closely with them to monitor our other patients as well as our staff.
“Throughout this difficult situation, all pertinent data has continued to be reported to the State as required, and patient representatives are receiving daily updates. Moving forward, we will continue to keep our patients, families and employees informed on our facility status as has been our practice throughout the pandemic.”