As covid-19 numbers continue to rise throughout Arkansas and Jefferson County, protecting one of the most vulnerable populations has become a priority on the state level. Nursing home residents were hit hard in the state of Arkansas at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The first nursing home case was reported by the Arkansas Department of Health on March 25 and was associated with the Waters of White Hall.
Health officials announced that the initial case at The Waters of White Hall appeared to be associated with a case linked to the original cluster at Jefferson Regional Medical Center.
Since then, the nursing home has had 51 positive residents with the most recent one reported to the health department on Oct. 1. Sixteen residents total were also reported as deceased.
In a previous interview, Donna Morton, the facility’s administrator, released a statement describing The Waters of White Hall’s “aggressive and proactive approach” against the coronavirus through “intense” methods including “monitoring, screening, education and awareness and appropriate prevention and management.”
Efforts to contact Morton on Monday were unsuccessful, but Monday’s report released by the Arkansas Department of Health showed the health care facility has 34 residents who have recovered.
Posts on their social media page pictured residents who had defeated covid-19, calling them the “true heroes.”
On Mar. 13, the Department of Health issued a directive temporarily suspending visitation to nursing homes in Arkansas to reduce the spread of the virus. The directive prohibited all visitation at long-term care facilities unless medically necessary by law enforcement or emergency personnel, a representative from the Department of Health, a representative from the Department of Human Services Office of Long-Term Care or a representative from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In June the Department of Health allowed the facilities to reopen