CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The looks of joy were evident Friday across the faces of residents at Hillebrand Nursing and Rehab Center in Cheviot. They sat outside as a parade of firetrucks, police cruisers, friends and family passed.
It was a lot of hard work that occasioned the parade, as Hillebrand celebrated the efforts of their staff to keep COVID-19 out of the center.
That’s a rare feat these days. According to data from the Ohio Department of Health, Hamilton County has 36 extended-care facilities with a confirmed case of COVID-19 among staff or residents.
That’s where it’s most lethal too. ODH reports 66% of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio are related to long-term care facilities.
But for the past two months, Hillebrand has been COVID-19-free.
“We’re doing all the practices it takes, such as wearing masks 24/7, checking our staff three times a day and having serious surveillance, and we’ll continue that,” Administrator Dan Suer said.
Suer says the last months have been hard on Hillebrand’s 108 residents.
“[They] have not been able to have any visitors, and they’re pretty sad, and we’re trying to do what we can to keep them connected.”
Hence the joy on the residents’ faces as they waved to their loved ones for the first time in months.
Additionally, Hillebrand’s staff had another reason to celebrate Friday. They were each surprised with a $200 bones check.
“I noticed an immediate response of thanks-giving," Suer said. “The staff clapped, and that’s what we try to do here. We try to recognize that our staff is just as important as our residents, because they are the ones delivering the care. They’re the ones that have the responsibility to make sure we do it well and we do it right.”