ORANGE CITY—Marty Guthmiller delivered two coronavirus-related gut punches during a video briefing on Wednesday, July 29.
Guthmiller, CEO of Orange City Area Health System, confirmed a second person from Sioux County has died of COVID-19, the illness called by the coronavirus.
The unnamed person was being treated by Orange City Area Health System and was over 80 years old.
“I wish I didn’t have to give this update, to be honest with you,” Guthmiller said.
Before announcing the grim news, which increased the virus’s death toll in N’West Iowa to three, Guthmiller also spoke about a potential coronavirus outbreak at a hospital-owned facility.
Prairie Ridge Care Center in Orange City, part of the health system’s senior care campus, has reported positive cases.
The Iowa Department of Public Health classifies an outbreak for a long-term care facility as three or more confirmed cases of the virus.
The only other confirmed long-term care facility outbreak in N'West Iowa is at Good Samaritan Society in George. According to the state, that facility had a dozen cases, but only five are considered active.
Guthmiller said a Prairie Ridge staff member and a resident have tested positive.
In response, they conducted rapid tests on staff and residents at two of the care center’s cottages: Grandview and Pheasant Run.
While Grandview turned up no positive results, Pheasant Run had three positives.
Those people will be tested again with polymerase chain reaction tests, which are the throat swab tests that provide more accurate results for COVID-19.
Should those results be positive, Guthmiller noted an outbreak will officially be declared at Prairie Ridge; however, the health system has already started treating it as such and has gone into lockdown.
All visits — including outdoor and open window — have been stopped, but Guthmiller noted they do have virtual options.
Residents, with the exception of those who require assistance, are eating meals in their rooms and not the communal dining room and the care center’s hair salon is closed.
The hospital also is making use of its Skytron “disinfection robot.” This device uses high levels of ultraviolet energy to reduce the spread of bacteria, fungus and viruses.
“We are really doing everything we can possibly think of right now to keep it contained to just these three residents,” Guthmiller said.
Editor's noted: This story has been updated.