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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Mayflower Community staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Residents at Mayflower have been sheltering in place and observing the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Photo by Elena Coppellel.

In a press release issued on June 25, The Mayflower Community announced one staff member for their retirement campus has been newly diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

As of June 24, 2020, the Iowa Department of Public Health has documented 99 cases of COVID-19, an illness caused by the novel coronavirus, in Poweshiek County. This, however, is the first documented case on the Mayflower campus.

As COVID-19 traveled across the nation this spring, the Center for Disease Control noted its disproportionate effects on the elderly and immunocompromised. For those living in the town of Grinnell, these statistics have become a daily reality.

In late April, 28 cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed at St. Francis Manor, a long-term care facility in Grinnell. The Mayflower Community, however, was previously able to prevent the virus from entering their facility. In an interview with The S&B in May, Steve Langerud, executive director of the Mayflower Community, credited this past success to Mayflower’s quick response to the pandemic.

According to their June 25 press release, though, one case of COVID-19 has occurred in a Mayflower Community staff member. Langerud stated that this staff member is currently being quarantined in their home, and that they are taking “every step as recommended by authorities to contain the spread.”

Due to the PPE worn by staff members and the extra safety precautions taken thus far, The Mayflower Community is hoping to prevent the virus from spreading within the community – both inside the facility and out.

Langerud assured the residents and their families that they will act with the community’s best interest in mind and will continue to adhere to the Phase I reopening requirements as stated by the state of Iowa.

In an effort to increase communication and slow the spread, Langerud encouraged community members to stay informed, and he stated that The Mayflower Community will be “providing on-going updates via our webpage and social media channels for families, media, and the greater community.”

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