(Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify how many residents at The Gables of Idaho Falls were asymptomatic.)
The first outbreak of the coronavirus has been reported at a long-term care facility in Idaho Falls.
The Gables of Idaho Falls Assisted Living and Memory Care has reported 11 new cases of the coronavirus to Eastern Idaho Public Health within the last week. Eight residents and three staff members have tested positive for the virus.
The Gables operates assisted living facilities in Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Caldwell, Pocatello and Shelley as well as three locations in northern Utah. Gables co-owner Mike Robbins said the cases were discovered after an employee began feeling sick and was required by company protocols to get tested.
“This is our first firsthand experience with the virus. We are fortunate it has been this long before we had any cases,” Robbins said.
Robbins said that all but one of the residents who had tested positive in Idaho Falls have not reported any symptoms and that several were being retested to check whether the positive result was accurate. He also said that Gables was following all state requirements for the use of personal protective equipment and other infection control measures.
A report released July 31 by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare found that more than 1,000 coronavirus cases and 106 virus-related deaths had been reported at long-term living facilities across Idaho. That report found that 23 facilities had at least 10 residents or staff contract the virus during their outbreak.
Four other assisted living facilities in Idaho Falls have reported one coronavirus case to Eastern Idaho Public Health and the IDHW, which will include the numbers in the report being released this Friday.