COVID-19 outbreak reported at Riverside

Published 6:18 pm Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Virginia Department of Health is reporting an active outbreak of COVID-19 at Riverside Healthy Living Community, an assisted living facility in Smithfield, though facility staff say the situation has already been resolved.

The state’s online dashboard of K-12 school and long-term care facility outbreaks, which is updated weekly on Fridays, showed a total of 10 cases and no deaths tied to the reported outbreak as of April 30. According to the dashboard, the VDH was notified of the outbreak April 20.

According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s online dashboard, Riverside has had 30 cumulative confirmed cases of the disease since the pandemic began last year and two COVID-19-related deaths.

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Riverside Healthy Living Community offers assisted living, skilled nursing care, rehabilitation and memory support facilities. It is operated by the Newport News-based Riverside Health System. The VDH dashboard specifically lists the outbreak type as assisted living as opposed to nursing home.

“All cases of COVID-19 have been resolved at Smithfield as of April 25,” said Lisa Kirby, Riverside Lifelong Health’s executive director of nursing facilities.

If 28 days pass without a documented new case of COVID-19, the VDH will change its listing for Riverside from “outbreak in progress” to “pending closure.”

Kirby didn’t say what percentage of Riverside’s Smithfield population had been vaccinated.

Dr. Lauren James, interim director of the Western Tidewater Health District, spoke to the vaccination status of the older population in the county in general.

“Please keep in mind this population may have issues with mobility and travel,” James said.

To get more shots into arms for people in these demographics, the health district is working on a homebound initiative, and in the more rural communities, planning mobile vaccination teams, James said.