DODGE CITY — Recent reports have indicated an increase in COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes in Ford County. On Monday, Sept. 28 Ford County physicians adviser Dr. R.C. Trotter said there had been an increase of COVID-19 deaths from 13 but said he was unable to determine the exact number. He did say they took place at nursing homes.

Currently, Manor of the Plains in Dodge City officials have said they have zero COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began. However, Manor of the Plains marketing director Brittany Gladbach said Monday, that due to the recent positive cases they have been listed as a cluster site for the virus.

"A cluster is two or more non-household cases of COVID-19 associated with a location in a specific time frame," said Gladbach.

"We have been very fortunate and have not had any COVID-related deaths at our campus," she said. "We continue follow strict infection prevention protocols and screening practices at our campus."

Manor of the Plains did report that an assisted living resident tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 28.

According to Marcia Swann, executive director at Trinity Manor in Dodge City, there have been three COVID-19-related deaths at that facility in the past two weeks.

As of Sept. 28, Trinity Manor reported on its Facebook page that five residents tested positive for COVID-19 as well as four staff members.

"As we continue regular testing of employees and residents, our focus remains on the health and safety of our residents and employees," said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness.

At the Kansas Soldier's Home in Fort Dodge, Superintendent Dave Smith, said no deaths and no cases of the coronavirus have been reported in its nursing home in the last two weeks.

Sunporch of Dodge City reported that a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on September 26 and so they began to test their residents. Most of the residents who tested positive there were asymptomatic at the time of testing.

Sunporch said they are working closely with their facility’s medical director, Dr. Andrew Schowengerdt as well as the Ford County Health Department.

When asked whether he had a response to the reports of COVID-19 related deaths occurring in nursing homes, including Sunporch, administrator Ryan Salinas said, "Not at this time I don’t."

Brookdale Senior Living administrator Erica Ruiz reported that her facility has had no COVID-19 related deaths, nor have they had recent active COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile throughout the whole pandemic, with the addition of being able to report no deaths from COVID-19 in her facility, Reflection Living administrator Tracee Germann, was proud to say they have not had one active case since the pandemic started.

"We’re little, we only have 12 residents for one thing and that’s all I hold and I am full, and we have been disinfecting and wearing masks, just doing all the precautions day in and day out," Germann said. "I give probably 90 percent of the credit to my staff, they’ve been amazing with disinfecting and wearing their masks.

Additional reporting by Judd Weil/Dodge City Daily Globe