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Whitefish care facility sees sixth COVID death

by KIANNA GARDNER
Daily Inter Lake | September 4, 2020 2:00 PM

A total of six individuals associated with Whitefish Care and Rehabilitation Center have now died from COVID-19-related issues as the facility faces what the Flathead City-County Health Department described in a Friday press release as a “major outbreak.”

More than 50% of residents at Whitefish Care and Rehab have tested positive for the virus since August. The press release stated “specific fatality rate for this outbreak is 13% from the time period of August 9 through September 3.”

The first round of deaths associated with the facility’s outbreak was announced in late August. At that point, 27 residents and 14 staff members had tested positive. Friday’s press release did not provide a numbers update as to how many residents make up 50% of the facility.

Last week, executive director of Whitefish Care and Rehab Reid Crickmore, said all staff and residents had been tested and they were waiting on additional results.

“The two headwinds we continue to face are asymptomatic positive people and the timeliness of lab results, sometimes taking four to seven days to get results,” Crickmore said in a prepared statement released last Thursday. “We continue to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 including, screening, robust cleaning and the execution of our Department of Public Health-approved mitigation plan.”

Flathead County’s total COVID-19 death toll is nine. The health department provides regular updates on local cases on its website.

Reporter Kianna Gardner can be reached at 758-4407 or kgardner@dailyinterlake.com