Influx of COVID-19 outbreaks spread to Sunnyside Assisted Living Facility

Tri-Cities, Grant County, Sunnyside

YAKIMA, Wash. — Public health officials have recognized a recent uptick of COVID-19 outbreaks occurring in Yakima County. That includes an extensive outbreak amongst staff and residents at the Sunnyside Assisted Living Facility.

According to a media release issued by the Yakima Health District, the county has 16 active COVID-19 outbreaks as of October 20, 2021. That includes five at assisted living facilities, five at long-term care facilities, and six other outbreaks spanning a rehab center, jail, wildlife camp, homeless shelter, moving company, and a golf club.

Dr. Neil Barg, Health Officer for the Yakima Health District, offered the following comments on the ongoing outbreaks:

“COVID-19 cases and outbreaks are preventable, and we must continue to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. We want to help our healthcare system, which is already overburdened with many hospital admissions and ER visits. The number of hospital admissions and ER visits would be much closer to normal if there were fewer COVID-19 associated cases admitted to the hospitals. This extra burden to our healthcare system is preventable. Vaccination greatly reduces the chance of severe illness and hospital admission. Getting vaccinated and following public health recommendations is the best way to help our hospitals and health care providers.”

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None of the outbreaks are more involved than that of the Sunnyside Assisted Living Facility; located on the 900-block of Ida Belle Street. The Health District was first notified of positive test results at the facility on October 15, 2021. Just five days later, they logged 29 positive tests amongst residents and five amongst staff members.

Given the severe circumstances of the outbreak, the Yakima Health District has outlined and recommended that the Sunnyside Assisted Living Facility implement the following protocols to prevent further spread of COVID-19:

  • Cohort individuals who have had a positive COVID-19 test
  • Cohort individuals who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
  • Test residents and staff twice a week
  • Continuously monitor residents and staff for symptoms of COVID-19
  • Increase PPE usage for staff
  • Increase testing for residents and staff

The Yakima Health District recommends that all eligible community members (Age 12+) get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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