On Wednesday, May 27, it was confirmed that a resident living in Water’s Edge Care Center in Hayward has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This is the facility’s first case and a direct result of facility-wide testing that was performed last week as part of a statewide goal to test all nursing home residents and staff in the month of May.

Water’s Edge Senior Living Community consists of 40 independent and assisted living apartments and 50 private, skilled nursing units. Water’s Edge is attached to Hayward Area Memorial Hospital. The person who tested positive for COVID-19 normally resides in the skilled nursing unit area. 

“The positive resident is currently asymptomatic and is isolated to avoid contact with others,” says Heather Sheehan, Vice President of Senior Services. “The resident is comfortable and being monitored closely by staff.

“The health and safety of those who live with us in Water’s Edge is our top priority. We are working closely with Sawyer County Public Health and following all public health guidance. Staff and residents continue to follow all recommended preventative actions including actively screening all individuals in the facility. All precautions remain up to date and consistent with current local, state, and federal recommendations.”

Visitors are not allowed in the facility, but some family and friends of residents and tenants keep in touch through “window visits.” Safeguards are maintained: visitors must keep a distance of six feet from the window; avoid direct contact like touching hands or kissing through the screen; and window visitors should wear masks even while outside.

“We ask for your continued support to keep our community healthy,” said Julia Lyons, Sawyer County Public Health Officer. “Although our Safer At Home Order has been lifted, it is still recommended that we take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our most vulnerable population. We encourage people to stay home as much as possible, maintain social distancing of at least six feet, wear a mask when in public and wash your hands often.”

“We know this is a difficult time for everyone,” said Sheehan. “Please be assured we are doing everything we can to contain and prevent spread within our facility. We are strictly adhering to all direction from local, state and federal governments.”

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