How a nursing home that was a COVID-19 hot spot battled back

GREENFIELD — Gary Janes remembers having dinner along with his father at Greenfield Healthcare Middle earlier this yr, earlier than COVID-19 got here crashing into their lives.

As they ate, a information story performed referencing the primary instances of the illness within the U.S. — principally close to the nation’s coasts and much away from the nursing house in Indiana the place they loved one another’s firm. 

“I simply bear in mind saying to myself, ‘Boy, I’m certain glad we dwell within the Midwest and never having to take care of that,’” Janes mentioned. “Then, every week or two later, we’d be coping with it and the way it affected my life, and never with the ability to see my dad; it simply tore me up. While you’re used to seeing him and you’ll’t see him, you’ll be able to’t do nothing, it’s simply unreal.”

It was one of many final occasions he’d ever get to be in the identical room along with his father, Harold Janes, who later examined constructive for COVID-19 and died on Could 19 at age 84.

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Harold Janes was one among about 20 individuals staying at Greenfield Healthcare Middle to die from COVID-19 for the reason that pandemic started in March, making up greater than half of Hancock County’s fatalities from the illness. Nearly 80 individuals staying on the facility and 15 staff have examined constructive for the virus, which spreads by respiratory droplets and can provide signs like a cough and fever.

Greenfield Healthcare Middle moved its final affected person out of its separated COVID-19 part on June 25, and has been permitting guests since July 8. Attending to that time has been arduous, as employees and residents can attest to.

The Hancock County Well being Division reported Wednesday, July 15, that Greenfield Healthcare Middle residents account for 21 COVID-19 deaths and 76 instances. General, 36 individuals in Hancock County have died of issues from the illness.

Andrew Clark, government director of Greenfield Healthcare Middle, disputes figures at his facility and reported Thursday, July 16, that the power has had 19 deaths, 77 instances and 58 recoveries. He additionally mentioned 15 staff have examined constructive for COVID-19; all have recovered; and most labored caring for COVID-19 sufferers.

Three different of the eight long-term care services in Hancock County have reported COVID-19 instances and deaths amongst residents for the reason that pandemic started. In accordance with the most recent information from the county well being division, Traditions at Brookside in McCordsville had 5 instances that each one resulted in deaths; Woodland Terrace of New Palestine had two instances, one among which resulted in a loss of life; and Springhurst Well being Campus in Greenfield has recorded two instances.

Golden LivingCenter-Brandywine in Greenfield; CrownPointe of Greenfield; Sugar Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation in western Hancock County; and Nice View Lodge in McCordsville haven’t recorded any COVID-19 instances or deaths.

With 163 beds, Greenfield Healthcare Middle is the biggest skilled-nursing facility in Hancock County, Clark mentioned, including its census earlier than the pandemic was round 140.

The power restricted visitation shortly after Indiana’s first recognized COVID-19 case was confirmed on March 6 at Group Hospital North in Indianapolis. Greenfield Healthcare Middle employees began sporting masks, Clark mentioned. Communal eating and actions ceased. Residents and employees began getting their temperatures taken and had been screened for signs every single day.

Even after taking all these measures, the virus made it inside.

“Sadly it acquired within the door, and that’s half the battle,” mentioned Craig Felty, vp, chief nursing officer and chief working officer of Hancock Regional Hospital, which has assisted Greenfield Healthcare Middle all through the pandemic.

Precisely the way it acquired in, Clark doesn’t suppose they’ll ever know. 

“We did all these issues early on, and we felt like we had been getting by it fairly good, particularly being in Hancock County, with the numbers being as little as what they had been, however all it takes is only one individual,” he mentioned.

The power confirmed its first case on April 18, Clark mentioned, a couple of month after Hancock County reported its first constructive take a look at and a couple of week earlier than Greenfield Healthcare Middle’s first COVID-19 loss of life.

When that first case was confirmed, one other resident on the identical hallway began having COVID-19 signs and was administered a take a look at, which got here again constructive, Clark mentioned. Each residents had been moved right into a separate part of the power. The remainder of the residents on the identical hallway the place the 2 COVID-19 sufferers previously stayed had been examined and people with constructive outcomes had been additionally moved to a separate part of the power.

There have been a variety of room strikes because the virus unfold among the many residents, Clark mentioned. The sections had been arrange like a site visitors gentle. The purple unit was for residents who had COVID-19. Yellow was for these extra in danger, like sufferers who needed to be transported offsite for dialysis therapies. In inexperienced, residents and sufferers had been recognized to not have COVID-19 and weren’t thought of at a lot danger.

Together with the hospital, Clark mentioned Greenfield Healthcare Middle has additionally been assisted by the county well being division all through the pandemic.

Two halls in the end designated for the power’s purple unit had been cordoned off with plastic sheets with zippers down the center, Clark mentioned. Residents who examined constructive for COVID-19 needed to stay within the purple unit for no less than 14 days or till their signs went away, per pointers from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

Clark and Felty mentioned rooms had been by no means geared up with damaging airflow stress capabilities, as was claimed by a spokesman for the Ohio-based CommuniCare Household of Firms, of which Greenfield Healthcare Middle is a component.

Testing continued, Clark mentioned. The power launched its first spherical of testing all residents in mid- to late April, he estimated. Some residents have been examined 4 to 5 occasions. Some have been examined once more after testing constructive, however none had been constructive a second time, he mentioned.

Many who examined constructive by no means had any signs, Clark mentioned, even all through the 14-day separation interval.

“It’s only a bizarre virus; it really is,” Clark mentioned.

He mentioned the most typical symptom seen within the facility amongst COVID-19 sufferers, in addition to a fever, has been lack of urge for food.

Clark mentioned at first look, it’s simple to imagine COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the power. However he’s undecided it’s as dangerous as the info suggests. A few of the residents who died with COVID-19 had been in hospice care, he mentioned. He additionally mentioned the power noticed about the identical variety of deaths from April by June for the previous three years.

“That’s simply the kind of business that we’re in,” Clark mentioned. “We’re at all times seeing individuals who sadly have underlying situations or they’re on hospice once they come to us.”

Nursing house residents are weak to COVID-19 because of their age, usually having underlying well being points and dwelling in shut proximity to others.

“It’s an ideal storm,” Felty mentioned. “When you get it in there, it simply flies like wildfire.”

As of Thursday, there have been 302 long-term care services in Indiana with no less than one COVID-19 case and 183 with no less than one loss of life, in accordance with the Indiana State Division of Well being. There have been 5,695 complete novel coronavirus instances in long-term care services and 1,245 deaths, virtually half of the state’s complete COVID-19 fatalities.

The entrance strains

Clark praised his employees’s work all through the pandemic.

“We had individuals step up such as you couldn’t consider,” he mentioned. 

Jennifer White, nursing supervisor at Greenfield Healthcare Middle, mentioned she hasn’t discovered the pandemic to be intimidating within the sense of the work it has required, however maybe barely because of how little is thought in regards to the illness.

“I feel that it was troublesome, however if you face one thing like that… you must take it head on and take care of your feelings later,” she mentioned.

The worry that stems from the lack of understanding in regards to the virus and maintaining with ever-changing pointers has additionally posed challenges, she continued.

“And attempting to determine with the doctor if this suggestion’s acceptable for this affected person, if not and why, and with the ability to take a look at that as an entire for each single affected person and be capable to successfully talk it and monitor it,” White mentioned, addressing how difficult the care grew to become. 

White mentioned the affect that worry has had on Greenfield Healthcare Middle residents motivates her and her colleagues to consolation them.

“Even when that meant staying 30 minutes previous your shift or no matter, sitting with them, explaining to them, reassuring them, FaceTiming with their households, giving that entire sense of consolation,” she mentioned. “As a result of on the finish of the day, that’s why we’re there, and in the event that they don’t really feel their finest or they’ve a variety of fear and so they’re scared, we don’t need to depart them like that. You may not be capable to take all of that away, however you’ll be able to no less than allow them to know, ‘I’m right here.’”

Stacey Jaynes, director of nursing at Greenfield Healthcare Middle, stayed at a buddy’s house in Greenwood for 2 to a few weeks in an effort to forestall these she lives with from getting COVID-19, ought to she get it. After returning house, she acquired it anyway, regardless of utilizing private protecting tools and following protocols. Her 18-year-old daughter, 22-year-old son and his girlfriend later examined constructive as properly and have since recovered.

Jaynes got here down with COVID-19 in Could. At first, she thought it was a chilly or sinus points, she mentioned. She had been working a variety of evening shifts, one thing her physique wasn’t used to. 

She mentioned she had just a little little bit of a cough, however by no means a fever. She was examined on the triage clinic Hancock Regional Hospital arrange in Brandywine Plaza. The take a look at got here again constructive, requiring her to remain house for 2 weeks.

White additionally was nervous about contracting the virus. She despatched her 10-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son a two-hour drive away to stick with her father for nearly a month. She saved in contact with them over the telephone, which included ensuring they had been maintaining with their e-learning.

White and Jaynes mentioned the supply of their resolve is that nursing is a calling for them.

“I grew to become a nurse to assist individuals,” White mentioned. “That was one thing from a really younger age that I knew I needed to do. And this was an enormous want. It’s a pandemic. So for me it wasn’t an possibility. That is what must be executed.”

Jaynes mentioned their colleagues are the identical means, just like the admissions coordinator who obtained her licensed nursing assistant license to assist out, and the social employee who was a CNA who took on these duties as properly.

“There wasn’t one individual that didn’t pitch in and assist,” Jaynes mentioned.

Dropping a father

Harold Janes is one among 25 Hancock County residents age 80 or older to die from COVID-19. Seven of the county’s victims had been of their 70s, three had been of their 60s and one was of their 50s. 

Gary Janes used to choose up his father at Greenfield Healthcare Middle to take him out to eat on Friday nights. He remembers arriving one Friday in March to be taught guests had been now not allowed contained in the constructing. From that time on, he was solely capable of talk along with his dad by way of telephone and thru his room’s window. 

“He was a tough employee, he was a farmer, only a great father,” Gary Janes mentioned. “He supplied for all of his children.”

Harold Janes was additionally a Marine Corps veteran and labored at Eli Lilly and Co.

Gary Janes couldn’t recall precisely when his father was first examined for COVID-19, however mentioned it was when everybody on the facility was examined, and that his first outcome got here again damaging. 

A few week or two later, he seen his dad’s well being appeared to be slipping. Finally, Harold Janes was examined once more, and it got here again constructive.

His son wasn’t stunned.

“He simply wasn’t fairly proper,” he mentioned, including when he spoke to his father on the telephone, it appeared like he wasn’t registering a lot of what was being mentioned.

Harold Janes was moved to the power’s purple unit.

“All the pieces was considerably OK that first week or so, however he didn’t have a lot of an urge for food,” Gary Janes mentioned.

Not lengthy earlier than his father died, Gary Janes stopped by to ship a bottle of Gatorade and a hamburger earlier than heading over to his window. A nurse gave Harold Janes the burger and drink. He downed the Gatorade however took just a few bites of the hamburger. He had a cough and had been vomiting just a little too, Gary Janes recalled.

He remembered the nurse telling him his dad wasn’t having an excellent day.

The nurse requested Harold Janes if there was something he needed to say to his son. He whispered in her ear, and the nurse relayed the message to Gary: His father liked him.

The son informed his father he liked him, too. He informed his dad to hold in there and that he’d see him the following day.

When Gary Janes returned, he talked to his father by the window for what could be the final time.

“He knew I used to be there, however he couldn’t open his eyes; he was attempting to open them up,” he mentioned.

Harold Janes died that night.

Gary Janes mentioned he can’t assist however marvel if Greenfield Healthcare Middle may have executed extra for his father, like transporting him to a hospital as his well being worsened.

“I might have thought that they’d have tried to maneuver him, tried to get him out of there,” he mentioned. “…I can’t think about they didn’t attempt to do a greater job of attempting to maintain him going or something like that. I’m disillusioned.”

He additionally praised staffers he described as hardworking and the demeanor of the nurse who took care of his father on the finish of his life.

“She was simply tremendous, tremendous good,” he mentioned.


Patricia Thompson, 71, has lived at Greenfield Healthcare Middle since final September. Her first COVID-19 take a look at got here again damaging, however her second was constructive. The virus left her with a cough and extreme ache in her lungs. She was within the purple unit for six to seven weeks.

Recovering “was like coming house once more,” she mentioned, including she was pleased with the care she obtained.

“All the pieces got here so shortly and so they needed to transfer so quick,” she mentioned of Greenfield Healthcare Middle employees. “And so they had been on it. Although we had been in a panic mode as sufferers and residents, they needed to do what they needed to do, and on the time we didn’t perceive; however now, wanting again, we perceive. They did the perfect that they may do.”

Greenfield Healthcare Middle resident Donna White, 61, examined constructive for COVID-19 however by no means had any of its harsher signs. As an alternative, she misplaced her sense of style and odor for about two weeks.

“I wasn’t feeling dangerous,” she mentioned. “I used to be in good arms.”

David Brinkman takes care of his father, Henry “Paul” Brinkman, 85, who lives in his own residence and has Parkinson’s illness and dementia. When David Brinkman and his fiance head out of city, they bring about Paul Brinkman to remain at Greenfield Healthcare Middle, together with all through the pandemic. 

David Brinkman mentioned employees put him comfortable by explaining how residents and sufferers who examined constructive for COVID-19 had been separated from others and cared for by assigned employees. His father by no means contracted the virus.

“I belief them,” he mentioned of Greenfield Healthcare Middle. “I put a variety of belief into them.”

Wanting forward

The Indiana State Division of Well being’s Division of Lengthy Time period Care performed a Centered An infection Management Survey at Greenfield Healthcare Middle on June Eight that discovered no deficiencies.

The power’s present visitation process permits for 2 relations per resident at a time, by appointment solely and through established visitation hours. Guests are screened upon arrival and supplied masks in the event that they don’t have one.

As Clark thinks in regards to the future, he can’t assist however be reminded how a lot remains to be unknown in regards to the virus as instances proceed to rise in components of the U.S. and Indiana.

“We’re nowhere out of the clear with all this,” he mentioned. “I don’t say that to scare individuals; I say that to be practical.”

By the numbers

COVID-19 information

Hancock County

  • 484 instances
  • 36 deaths
  • 7,492 exams
  • 5 new instances on July 16
  • Zero new deaths
  • 118 new exams between June 27 and July 15


  • 54,813 instances
  • 2,610 deaths
  • 604,635 exams
  • 747 new instances on July 16
  • Eight new deaths between July Four and 16
  • 9,122 new exams between April 29 and July 16
  • 54.5% ICU beds in use – non-COVID
  • 11.2% ICU beds in use – COVID
  • 34.4% ICU beds out there
  • 14.1% ventilators in use – non-COVID
  • 2.7% ventilators in use – COVID
  • 83.2% ventilators out there
  • Hospital census: 815
  • Hospital census peak: 1,799 (April 13)

Supply: Indiana State Division of Well being as of 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 16

By the numbers

Hancock County COVID-19 demographics

Circumstances (484)


  • 0-19: 5.4%
  • 20-29: 14.3%
  • 30-39: 12%
  • 40-49: 15.7%
  • 50-59: 16.9%
  • 60-69: 13.6%
  • 70-79: 10.3%
  • 80+: 11.8%


  • Feminine: 51.9%
  • Male: 47.3%
  • Unknown: 0.8%


  • White: 63.6%
  • Black or African American: 4.5%
  • Asian: 0.6%
  • Different: 10.5%
  • Unknown: 20.7%


  • Not Hispanic or Latino: 33.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 2.3%
  • Unknown: 63.8%

Deaths (36)


  • 0-19: 0%
  • 20-29: 0%
  • 30-39: 0%
  • 40-49: 0%
  • 50-59: 2.8%
  • 60-69: 8.3%
  • 70-79: 19.4%
  • 80+: 69.4%



  • White: 91.7%
  • Black or African American: 0%
  • Asian: 0%
  • Different: 2.8%
  • Unknown: 5.6%


  • Not Hispanic or Latino: 55.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 0%
  • Unknown: 44.4%

Examined (7,492)


  • 0-19: 8.3%
  • 20-29: 12.3%
  • 30-39: 15.3%
  • 40-49: 14.7%
  • 50-59: 18.3%
  • 60-69: 13.9%
  • 70-79: 10.6%
  • 80+: 6.5%


  • Feminine: 57.6%
  • Male: 41.2%
  • Unknown: 1.2%


  • White: 70.5%
  • Black or African American: 2.3%
  • Asian: 0.5%
  • Different: 11.4%
  • Unknown: 15.3%


  • Not Hispanic or Latino: 28.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 0.5%
  • Unknown: 71.2%

Supply: Indiana State Division of Well being

By the numbers

Indiana COVID-19 demographics

Circumstances (54,813)


  • 0-19: 7.9%
  • 20-29: 17.1%
  • 30-39: 15.9%
  • 40-49: 16.4%
  • 50-59: 15.4%
  • 60-69: 11.8%
  • 70-79: 7.4%
  • 80+: 8%
  • Unknown: 0.1%


  • Feminine: 52.2%
  • Male: 46%
  • Unknown: 1.7%


  • White: 46.2%
  • Black or African-American: 11.7%
  • Asian: 1.4%
  • Different: 17.2%
  • Unknown: 23.5%


  • Not Hispanic or Latino: 33.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 11.1%
  • Unknown: 55.2%

Deaths (2,610)


  • 0-19: 0.1%
  • 20-29: 0.3%
  • 30-39: 0.7%
  • 40-49: 1.8%
  • 50-59: 5.1%
  • 60-69: 15.9%
  • 70-79: 24.6%
  • 80+: 51.5%


  • Feminine: 48.7%
  • Male: 49.3%
  • Unknown: 2.1%


  • White: 64.8%
  • Black or African American: 14.3%
  • Asian: 0.5%
  • Different: 13.3%
  • Unknown: 7.1%


  • Not Hispanic or Latino: 52.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 2%
  • Unknown: 45.4%

Examined (604,635)


  • 0-19: 8.4%
  • 20-29: 15.5%
  • 30-39: 15.5%
  • 40-49: 15%
  • 50-59: 16.2%
  • 60-69: 14.2%
  • 70-79: 8.9%
  • 80+: 5.8%
  • Unknown: 0.5%


  • Feminine: 57.2%
  • Male: 40.8%
  • Unknown: 2%


  • White: 58.3%
  • Black or African American: 8.7%
  • Asian: 0.8%
  • Different: 13.4%
  • Unknown: 18.8%


  • Not Hispanic or Latino: 38.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 3.3%
  • Unknown: 58%

Supply: Indiana State Division of Well being

By the numbers

Hancock County COVID-19 deaths (36)

  • March 21: 1
  • March 28: 2
  • April 4: 2
  • April 10: 1
  • April 18: 1
  • April 25: 2
  • Could 1: 1
  • Could 2: 2
  • Could 4: 2
  • Could 5: 2
  • Could 6: 2
  • Could 9: 1
  • Could 12: 2
  • Could 14: 1
  • Could 15: 1
  • Could 18: 1
  • Could 19: 2
  • Could 20: 1
  • June 8: 1
  • June 12: 2
  • June 16: 1
  • June 18: 2
  • June 19: 1
  • June 20: 1
  • June 24: 1

Supply: Indiana State Division of Well being

At a look

Again on Monitor Indiana Stage 4.5

By way of July 31

Elkhart County stays in Stage Four by July 31

Tips for all Hoosiers

  • Hoosiers 65 and older and people with recognized high-risk medical situations ought to adhere to social distancing pointers and stay cautious at work and of their communities
  • Proceed distant work as wanted
  • Face coverings are extremely really useful
  • Social gatherings of as much as 250 individuals could happen following Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention social distancing pointers. The coronavirus is commonly unfold amongst teams of people who find themselves in shut contact in a confined area for an prolonged time frame. This restrict applies to wedding ceremony receptions, events and different occasions the place persons are in shut bodily contact for prolonged durations of time, notably in indoor places
  • Outside visitation has resumed at assisted dwelling services and nursing properties in accordance with Indiana State Division of Well being visitation pointers
  • Indoor nursing house and assisted dwelling services will need to have a plan for indoor visitation
  • Hospital visitations inspired with precautions

Stage Four restrictions that proceed

  • State authorities constructing entry out there by appointment; state staff are required to put on masks in public areas, with exceptions
  • Eating room meals service could function at as much as 75% capability so long as social distancing is noticed
  • Bar seating in eating places could function at 50% capability so long as social distancing is noticed
  • Bars and nightclubs could function at 50% capability adhering to social distancing pointers
  • Cultural, leisure and tourism websites could function at 50% capability, together with museums, zoos, aquariums and like services
  • Film theaters, bowling alleys and related services could function at 50% capability, adhering to social distancing pointers
  • Raceways could function at 50% grandstand capability
  • Venues could function at a 50% capability with adherence to social distancing pointers
  • Amusement parks, water parks and like services could function at 50% capability; reservations are inspired to restrict the variety of prospects at anybody time
  • Private companies proceed operations with restrictions
  • Gyms, health facilities and different exercise services proceed operations with restrictions

What opens in Stage 4.5

  • Okay-12 college operations could start the 2020-21 educational yr on July 1; extra-curricular, co-curricular actions could resume July 6
  • Pari-mutuel horse racing and county and state honest racing could start with 50% spectator capability
  • Youth in a single day camps could open
  • Gala’s, festivals and different related outside occasions could open and conventions could resume

Supply: State of Indiana

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