4 dead, more than 80 infected after COVID-19 outbreak at Virginia retirement community

Local Coronavirus Coverage

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County’s Health District Director Dr. Alexander Samuel confirms to 8News that more than 80 people have tested positive for coronavirus at Tyler’s Retreat at Iron Bridge.

Four people have died and the current case count includes 55 residents and 26 staff.

At this time, it is not clear how the virus may have lurked inside the facility.

“The scenario of most high likelihood is that a staff member was asymptomatic and came into the facility and infected a few other folks and spread from there,” Dr. Samuel said.

Back in June, during an unannounced inspection, Tyler’s Retreat was in substantial compliance, and there were no reported COVID-19 cases at the facility.

Dr. Samuel said the outbreak shows how quickly the virus can spread and infect locals.

“We simply can’t let our guard down,” Dr. Samuel said. “It just speaks to how infectious COVID-19 is and the risks of having an infection in a population like our elderly population.”

The Director of Tyler’s Retreat, Vic Pope, said in a statement: “The facility acts in the best interest of its residents to promote their health, safety, and welfare.  We continue to work closely with the Department of Health and follow all local, state and federal reporting guidelines and regulations.  We have routinely updated all residents and responsible parties regarding their condition and care.  Due to HIPAA regulations, we cannot comment on any personal health information.”

8News asked the facility for an update on visitation guidelines following the outbreak. No response has been received as of 10 p.m. Wednesday.

“It is a very challenging time, certainly for families,” Dr. Samuel said. “It’s really just kind of wait and see thinking about the best interest of all concerned.”

According to the Virginia Department of Health, the facility has adopted appropriate mitigation and control efforts, including regular testing and isolation and quarantine procedures.

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