SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A resident of Avera Prince of Peace Retirement Community has died from the COVID-19 virus, officials say in a news release Friday.
“I think it has taken a big emotional toll on several of the workers who have worked at POP, just because a lot of these individuals have become their family, their friends. It creates an emotional toll on these caregivers as they see them get sick and potentially deteriorate and maybe even die from the illness,” Joseph Rees, Avera Geriatric Physician said.
Avera believes the virus came from an employee, because it stopped visitors from coming into the building nearly three weeks ago. Prince of Peace residents have been isolated in their rooms and community dining was ended.
“The health and safety of our residents is our priority, and we are deeply saddened by this loss,” Justin Hinker, administrator for Avera Prince of Peace, said in the release. “We will take all precautions possible to stop the spread of this virus in our facility.”
The two additional residents Avera announced earlier, remain positive with COVID-19. Avera is preparing an isolated wing for COVID-19 patients and those suspected of having the illness in order to reduce the spread.
Avera Prince of Peace is following Center for Disease Control best practices by is setting up a unit that is separated from the other units where all COVID positive residents will be staying, according to the news release. This has shown to minimize infection to other residents.
Avera Prince of Peace is in close communications with the State Department of Health and Avera infectious disease specialists to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps at this time.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in our nation and our region, the Avera long-term care community has taken proactive steps to protect residents, including closing down to visitors, eliminating group dining and group activities, according to the news release.