Dustyn Sloan, Dover Manor by Harborview executive director, took to social media Wednesday to announce the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the long-term facility had fallen to three.

“I understand there has been some news and concerns about COVID-19 in our facility and rightfully so,” Sloan said in a Facebook video post. “Over 60 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in our facility.

“But I have some good news. As of tomorrow (Thursday) only three residents will be COVID-19 positive in our facility and all are expected to make a full recovery.”

Just hours after the Dover Manor video was posted a sixth resident died of COVID-19. The News-Graphic has learned four of its current staff members tested positive with COVID-19 this week.

Since mid-August, some six Dover Manor residents have died as the long-term care facility battled a breakout that infected residents and staff members. According to the latest WEDCO Health District figures. some 93 confirmed cases of COVID-19 are attributed to Dover Manor, including 32 staff members and 61 residents. The numbers released by Dover Manor and WEDCO have seldom agreed as shortly before the first Dover Manor resident died, Pat Wise, another Dover Manor executive said the confirmed cases inside the facility was 13.

Of the 93 confirmed COVID-19 Dover Manor cases, 55 remain listed as “active,” including 34 residents and 21 staff members, based upon WEDCO’s statistics obtained Thursday.

“Our position with the COVID-19 from day one, particularly in a long-term care facility like Dover, was to be a resource, particularly for prevention, containment and mitigation strategies,” said Dr. Crystal Miller, WEDCO public health director. “In order to do this successfully, it requires weekly and sometimes daily contact due to the rapid nature of this virus and the fluidity of the situation.

“The communication and transparency from leadership within this facility has not been forthcoming, making it difficult for us to be a resource and ultimately keeping residents and staff safe."

Several former and current employees notified the News-Graphic of concerns about the facility, including frustration that safety protocols including wearing masks, gloves and hand washing were not being followed. In early August, Dover Manor posted photos of construction contractors working on the building without masks, but Wise said the work was completed in February before the pandemic began. Resident family members and employees disputed that. The photos were removed from social media following a WKYT report in mid-August.

Miller confirmed the health department and the state Office of Inspector General have opened an investigation into the facility due to the number of deaths and complaints.

Sloan did not address any of the accusations in his video post but praised the staff.

“Please join me in thanking our staff members for all the love and compassion they have shown our residents during this time,” he said. “And to all the families and all the people who are praying for us.

“Your prayers are being answered.”

Sloan concluded his statement by encouraging resident families and others to contact him 24/7 with any questions or concerns. Sloan’s video can be found on the Dover Manor by Harborview Facebook page.

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