VA certifies RCH as provider

Despite following mandatory protocols, a staff member of Rim Country Health and Rehabilitation contracted the coronavirus from community spread.

A second Rim Country Health and Rehabilitation resident has died after contracting COVID-19, officials say.

The long-term resident was sent to Banner Payson Medical Center last week after testing positive for the coronavirus, said Tabitha Meyer, RCH administrator.

On June 22, Meyer received word that the resident had died while at the hospital. The resident reportedly had underlying conditions. “We are saddened and extend our thoughts and prayers to the family of our resident,” she said.

Meyer also reported that as of Monday, 22 residents of RCH and 13 staff members have tested positive.

Two additional cases were reported Wednesday at RCH, but county health officials could not say if they were employees or residents.

“Residents who confirmed positive are in a special unit in isolation with heightened testing, monitoring and care,” she said. “Care reaching beyond our facility moves to the hospital.”

Meyer said not all positive cases are showing symptoms. “Some cases are asymptomatic just as our very first case was,” she said, which was a RCH employee.

On Tuesday, Gila County Health and Emergency Management confirmed 11 new cases, including three in Globe, two in Miami, two in Payson and four in San Carlos. On Wednesday, there were six new cases, including three in Payson.

Another 27 cases are pending further investigation.

As of Wednesday, of the 175 confirmed cases in Gila County, 56 had recovered and five had died.

Contact the editor at abechman@payson.com

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