Pioneer Place, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, Assisted Living Apartments CEO Chris Monroe. (Kezia Setyawan/The Enterprise)

VALE—Pioneer Place’s assisted living apartments have reported 10 residents and five employees infected with Covid.

The assisted living apartments house 26 residents. The skilled nursing section has 22 residents, and no Covid cases.

The first case was detected Aug. 26, and the center has been testing patients once a week and staff twice a week through Willamette Valley Toxicology for the past three weeks, said Lexie Browning, infection prevention specialist at Pioneer Place.

The residents are staying in the rooms, and the center is alerting their families, said Chris Monroe, administrator.

The center is no longer admitting anyone to their assisted living community, and is letting hospitals know about their outbreak to inform any patients who anticipated transferring from the hospital to Pioneer’s skilled nursing section for recovery. The section is still accepting residents.

All the employees are wearing N95 masks, and in-person visits have been replaced with radio headsets worn on two sides of a window, except for end of life situations, since March.

The facility is a holdout to the virus among assisted living facilities in Malheur County.

Brookdale Assisted Living, in Ontario, had its first case June 25, and now has had 37 cases and five deaths. Dorian Place Assisted Living, in Ontario, had its first case July 15, and now has had 23 cases and three deaths. Wellsprings Assisted Facility had its first case July 20, and now has had four cases and one death.

Pioneer Place lasted so long because a unified dedication to state and federal guidelines, said Browning.

The staff was strict about screening, sanitation, mandatory testing, masks and physical distancing, said Browning.

The facility went through four state Department of Human Services inspections with no mistakes, said Browning.

An employee in July was infected, but did not come in to work, preventing an outbreak at the time.

Browning said she did not know how the outbreak began.

Correction: Residents are being tested once a week and are not wearing N95 masks. An earlier version they were were being tested twice a week and wearing the N95 masks. The Enterprise apologizes for the errors. PRIOR COVERAGE

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News tip? Contact reporter Aidan McGloin at news@malheurenterprise.com or at 541-473-3377.

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