DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – HCR Manorcare; the parent company of local nursing homes Heartland of Miamisburg, Kettering, Beavercreek and Kettering; has dealt with COVID-19 since the initial outbreak in January.

The Toledo-based company owns nursing homes in 27 states, according to Assistant VP of Marketing and Communications Julie Beckert, including Washington where the initial outbreak occurred in the US.

Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash., was called the “epicenter of the outbreak” by Reuters. It’s where local health agencies say 25 people associated with the center have died.

Thirteen miles away was Manorcare Health Services of Lynnwood.

Beckert said this led to the implementation of controls across the company.

“We’ve been working on this since January,” Beckert said. “It wasn’t our (nursing) home where the outbreak occurred, but we needed to put protocols immediately in place,” Beckert said the company had to begin seeking answers once it was discovered the virus had first come to the country through the Seattle area.

“Nobody was sure where it had started,” Beckert said. “It could have been a setting where one of our employees or patients had been. We needed to set up screenings and monitoring early on.”

These screenings were also implemented by the company in Ohio and the company published a statement on its website after President Trump issued a state of emergency.

“In January we revised our infection control material to address COVID-19,” the statement read. “With the increasing cases in many of our communities, we revised our procedures and conducted a great amount of in-service training in all of our facilities.

“We drastically limited visitors and instituted screening and monitoring of all visitors, employees and patients. This includes taking the temperature of all employees, patients and visitors as well as screening for symptoms.”

The company expanded its protocols after President Trump issued a state of emergency on Friday. This included:

  • Significantly restricting visitors and nonessential personnel
  • Restricting communal activities within the facilities and communities
  • All individuals other than essential health care staff and visits for end-of-life situations should no longer enter facilities until further notice

“We feel it is critical to ask all employees who are sick to stay home and ask all family members and volunteers to avoid visiting our center for the time being,” the statement read.

HCR Manorcare’s full statement on COVID-19 can be read on its website.