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No positive cases at nursing homes
covid tests
About 140 people at Lafayette Manor in Darlington were tested May 29. An 18-member team from the National Guard collected nasal swab specimens from people there. Testing was mandatory for staff and voluntary for the 47 residents. - photo by By Kayla Barnes

GREEN/LAFAYETTE COUNTIES — No one tested positive for COVID-19 from two recent facility-wide testing events at the two county-owned nursing homes in the area.

Pleasant View Nursing Home in Monroe and Lafayette Manor in Darlington received help from the Wisconsin National Guard to test residents and staff.

Heather Spinhirne, interim administrator at Lafayette Manor, said an 18-member team from the National Guard collected nasal swab specimens from about 140 people at the nursing home on May 29. Testing was mandatory for staff and voluntary for the 47 residents of the facility.

A couple of residents refused testing “but overall it was a very good turnout,” she said. “It went extremely smooth.”

A May 26 National Guard-assisted testing event of 260 staff and residents at Pleasant View Nursing Home also returned no positive results.

The testing was prompted by a state and federal push to screen employees and residents at nursing homes nationwide. 

The goal is to identify positive cases that are asymptomatic, for quick treatment and isolation to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. On May 19, Gov. Tony Evers announced a $1 billion effort, supported through federal dollars, to increase COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

Both Pleasant View and Lafayette Manor remain closed to visitors, in keeping with guidelines from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Nursing homes in surrounding counties have identified positive COVID-19 cases, including three in Rock County, two in Grant County and five in Dane County, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

South of the stateline in Illinois, Jo Daviess and Stephenson counties had no confirmed cases in long-term care facilities but Winnebago County had 147 cases and 30 deaths in long-term care facilities, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health as of May 29.

Stephenson County has been otherwise hit hard by COVID-19, especially within the Hispanic community, according to Craig Beintema, administrator of the county public health department. He reported these cases have in particular affected employees in three local food processing plants, Nuestro Queso, Pearl Valley Eggs and Snak King.

As of June 2, Stephenson County reported five deaths from COVID-19 and 110 active cases, with 212 positive cases overall since the pandemic started spreading in March.

Green County reported 70 cases, with 63 recovered and one hospitalized, as of June 4. As testing has ramped up across the state, the positive testing rate of county residents has declined. It is currently about 3.8%.

Lafayette County reported 29 cases, with 24 recovered, as of June 3.