St. John United in Billings reports 1st COVID-related death

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Posted at 4:02 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 22:37:55-04

The St. John United care facility in Billings announced Wednesday its first COVID-related death of a resident.

The resident was a woman in her 90s who had been hospitalized multiple times and died in the hospital. The woman had been a resident in a housing unit.

While at the facility, the woman had tested negative for the disease as part of St. John's regular testing protocols, according to a news release.

The resident then tested positive after she was admitted to the hospital as part of the hospital's routine testing, according to St. John.

“Each resident is a cherished member of our community, and our heart goes out to the staff members, friends and family for their loss,” said David Trost, president and CEO, in a statement.

Added Pastor Karl Guhn: “The resident was only with us a short time, and we are so glad that family was able to be at her side."

The death has been recorded on the state's COVID tracking site.

St. John has been regularly testing residents and staff since early July when a staff member tested positive for the disease.

St. John has implemented multiple policies to curb outbreaks, includling:

  • Restriction on visitations
  • Advance screening and collecting contact information on all individuals entering our buildings.
  • Enhanced PPE use, including eye protection and gowns.
  • Limiting staff access to essential work areas.
  • Quarantining and testing new admissions.
  • Adapting group activities and dining based on prevalence of COVID-19.
  • Closely monitoring residents and staff for symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • Wearing Masks, Watching Distance and Washing Hands over and over again.

The St. Johns campus in Billings has 186 nursing home beds and two transitional care centers, according to the St. John Lutheran Ministries website.