FOLLOWUP: New COVID-19 outbreak at Providence Mount St. Vincent takes 3 more lives

One week after we reported a new, deadly COVID-19 outbreak at Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle, the facility says three more people have died. Since the pandemic began last spring, The Mount has lost a total of 11 people to COVID-19. Right now, The Mount says in an announcement this afternoon, 15 residents and 11 caregivers have tested positive in the current outbreak. The first outbreak was back in spring, and the facility got it under control by “rapidly implement(ing) screening procedures, visitor restrictions and physical barriers” as well as closing communal dining, and requiring universal masking, as well as facility-wide testing, twice-daily temperature and oxygen monitoring on every resident and patient, and screening and temperature checks of all staff upon entry. No residents tested positive for 6 months, but the current surge led to the return of the virus at The Mount, which describes itself as “a residential community serving nearly 400 elders with an average age of 94. It is challenging to help them follow all precautions, such as mask wearing, social distancing, and staying in their rooms most of the time. Many have some level of dementia which exacerbates this challenge.” So here’s what they’re doing now:

As we face this second outbreak, we are co-horting every resident who has tested positive either in a private room or in a dedicated unit on our 5th floor. This includes any person who may have been exposed, as we presume that they are positive while awaiting test results.

In anticipation of the continued surge in our region over the Thanksgiving holiday, we are increasing our caregiver testing to twice per week.

We are encouraging residents to stay in their rooms, but we must also balance the physical and emotional impact of complete social isolation. Their spirit, heart, cognition and physical well-being must also be supported as we navigate this pandemic.

As a higher number of positive cases occur in the region, it becomes more challenging to prevent it from entering the Mount.
Additionally, as people rush to get tested so that they may justify traveling, they have caused a higher volume of testing and thus a slower turnaround of test results for vulnerable elders in communities such as ours.

We believe there is hope on the horizon, but we must shut down the virus at the broader community level first. This requires hard work and a lot of difficult decisions.

The direct caregivers who are working the front lines must be honored for the sacrifices that they are making. Many are facing losses of loved ones as well as detrimental financial impacts in their own families and yet show up to serve every day. The public at large perhaps doesn’t see in full view the tremendous sacrifices and loving care that is taking place.

The announcement concludes with a poignant plea:

“Let’s not forget that we all depend on each other,” said Dr. David Roesel, MD , and provider at Providence Mount St. Vincent. “Every action will affect another person. The elders in our care built the very society that we enjoy. They deserve our very best efforts to keep them safe. Each human life is more important than the economy. We can figure out the finances later, but once a life is gone, it’s gone. Be careful. Wear a mask. Stay at home. These are real human souls among our elders who are bearing the brunt of this pandemic. When you see the finish line, is not the time to stop running.”

The Mount is just south of The Triangle, and along with its health-care services, it’s home to an internationally renowned preschool and hosting community events every year such as an outdoor concert series.

13 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: New COVID-19 outbreak at Providence Mount St. Vincent takes 3 more lives"

  • Flo B November 24, 2020 (6:52 pm)

    Sad. My friend lost his companion early on at the Mount. Of the people we’ve lost in WS how many have been in nursing home/assisted living  settings???

    • WSB November 24, 2020 (7:14 pm)

      According to the county dashboard, West Seattle has had 30 COVID-19 deaths, 22 in the “West Seattle Health Reporting Area” and 8 in the “Delridge Health Reporting Area.” We have only had 15 reported linked to a long-term care/senior-living facility – these 11 at The Mount, 3 at Aegis, and 1 at Bridge Park.

  • Karen November 24, 2020 (8:00 pm)

    My heart goes out to this vital community.   I can imagine the toll that isolation is taking on these folks.   Years ago my mother was isolated with shingles and slowly lost her will to live.  Her dementia deepened, she died a few weeks later. Her pain was our pain.

    God bless and love these caregivers, they truly are angels.

  • Workdown November 24, 2020 (8:36 pm)

    So sorry to read this.  Been to the mount with family members many times.  Can’t imagine seeing this horror.  Be safe.  

  • Flo B November 24, 2020 (8:37 pm)

    Was also a death at a home care facility on Genesee hill too. Ex neighbor  had moved himself into that facility. He got covid and recovered by noted the loss of a resident from covid.  Sad for everyone involved. The workers at these facilities have a tough job.

  • onion November 24, 2020 (9:04 pm)

    The Mount, its residents, and team are among West Seattle’s finest treasures. We all loose when a member of the Mount community is taken by Covid. Let’s say a prayer for them at our Thanksgiving tables and every day.

  • Batty November 24, 2020 (9:31 pm)

    I am so sad to read this update. Both of my parents had short term visits at The Mount for recovery care. My 8 year old son even said that he would like to go there when he gets older like Gamma and Gampa. It’s always been such a kind and connected community and our visits often stretched on for many hours as we got to know residents and staff through ice cream socials, Bingo, outdoor concerts, movie nights, painting and more. I will be saying a prayer for all the residents, caretakers, doctors and healthcare workers and those that lost their lives. And sending strong vibes to kick Covid-19 to the curb. 

  • Tracey November 25, 2020 (7:48 am)

    The comment about people “rushing to get tested so they can justify travelling is important”.  These free testing sites were designed for people displaying symptoms not for people who choose to ignore public health recommendations and travel over the holidays.  For that service, I believe people should be paying out of pocket.  For travel to Hawaii, for example, you use a designated facility and pay.

    • Mel November 25, 2020 (9:43 am)

      I don’t disagree with you, but the governor is the one who just last week (or the week prior) recommended people get tested (or quarantine) if they were going to be seeing people outside of their households. If testing sites are getting backed up, I guess our govt officials shouldn’t be recommending and encouraging it.

      • WSB November 25, 2020 (9:48 am)

        That advice was walked back days later but the damage was done.

  • John November 25, 2020 (6:44 pm)

    This is heartbreaking news.

    You won’t find a more caring, dedicated group of people working at the Mount.
    My wife worked in the ILC for 10 years.She got to see firsthand the level of care.

    Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone.

  • ~Hockeywitch~ November 25, 2020 (8:49 pm)

    I spent 2 weeks at The Mount in 2017 after breaking a hip in a fall at work. They were the best.. .Took such great care of me. I’m sad to read that Covid has gotten it’s nasty self in there to residents and staff.. My heart breaks for those that lost their lives, my condolences to their family and friends… and a quick recovery to the residents and staff that contracted it and are fighting it…

  • Katharine November 25, 2020 (8:53 pm)

    My thoughts and prayers for every staff member at the Mount.  You all blessed my life during my mother’s brief stay there, and ultimately, my life changed dramatically and permanently for great good as a result.  May the Lord bless and keep you ALL, patients and staff, as well as all those whom you love and cherish!!

    (Like Tiny Tim said, “May God bless us, every one!”

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