Last week one of our Helen Porter residents received a positive COVID-19 test result. In response, and in keeping with our protocols and state requirements, Helen Porter quickly engaged the Vermont Department of Health to investigate and act to prevent any potential outbreak in the facility.
These actions included facility-wide testing of all residents and staff. I am pleased to report that our laboratory results show all samples to be negative for COVID-19.
In addition, review of the circumstances of the person who tested positive, spurred another test of the positive sample. That re-test found the initial result was a false positive. This negative result was confirmed in a subsequent sample taken from the person. False positives are rare, but not unheard of.
As a result of this determination, the Health Department suspended the facility-wide testing that began this morning. Because some samples had already been collected, the department will still process them as a courtesy to those who took the time and trouble to have them taken.
The procedures for comprehensive efforts to test, isolate and conduct contact tracing are in place to ensure that any possibility of virus in a facility like ours can be quickly contained, and that anyone affected can receive the care and support they need.
We are grateful that our residents and our hard-working staff have not been exposed to this virus. And we thank everyone for your cooperation and support for the protocols we must all follow to stay safe and healthy.
Though we did not, in fact, experience a case of COVID-19 at the facility this week, as we know, vigilance is critical to continued protection. The rapid response by Helen Porter, Porter Hospital and our lab teams to investigate and act demonstrated our readiness and the wisdom of the protocols we have in place for all our safety.