10 infected, 3 hospitalized in Columbus assisted living COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 2:56 PM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 19:54:47-04

COLUMBUS — A total of 10 COVID-19 cases have been found in the Meadowlark Assisted Living Facility in Columbus, according to a Tuesday media release from Stillwater County Public Health.

Four residents and six employees in the Meadowlark facility tested positive over the span of last week, said Michael White, co-owner of the facility's parent company over the phone.

Three residents have been hospitalized.

White said the first case was identified in a resident who traveled to a Billings hospital on Sept. 22 for ankle pain, White said. The resident was tested for COVID-19 at the hospital as part of regular procedures.

That same day, all 11 staff members at Meadowlark were tested as part of state rules that require weekly testing of care facility employees. On Sept. 25, the six employees came back positive and tests were given to all residents and staff, White said.

The facility will not allow visitors per quarantine and contact tracing protocols. White said residents are currently confined to their rooms. Visitation restrictions will be lifted when the facility has two consecutive weeks with no positive COVID-19 tests, White said.

The Meadowlark staff were and still are following all state and national protocol to prevent COVID-19 spread, White said.

"The state requires assisted living facilities to isolate residents who have tested positive and to quarantine the residents who have been exposed to the virus, even if they have tested negative," the release states.

Stillwater County Public Health reports all residents and workers have been notified of test results.

The Meadowlark assisted living facility is operated by Montana-based Caslen Living Centers, Inc. The company operates six assisted living facilities across the state, according to its website.

As of Tuesday, Stillwater County has 31 active COVID-19 cases, bringing the county total to 76 confirmed cases. Two county residents have died from the virus.

Stillwater County residents with questions about COVID-19 are asked to call the local public health line at 406-322-1070. The Stillwater County COVID-19 response web site can be accessed by clicking here.