Lawrence Hall, months after over 180 total cases, now COVID-free

Lawrence Hall, months after over 180 total cases, now COVID-free

WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (KAIT) - After months of battling COVID-19, Lawrence Hall Health & Rehab is now COVID-free.

The first positive coronavirus case was reported at Lawrence Hall in August.

In October, the facility was up to 120 cases among its residents with nearly 100 active cases, to go with an outbreak among its 60-plus staff members.

Josh Conlee, President of Lawrence Memorial Health, says it was a trying time for Lawrence Hall, and he’s relieved that the cases are back down to zero.

“It’s an understatement to say that it feels good,” Conlee said. “It was a challenge, but we faced it head-on and were able to achieve our residents becoming recovered at the beginning of November.”

Conlee says many challenges were overcome, not just in having the majority of residents test positive but also with staffing. It was a constant re-arranging.

“We had to move them within our building [and] quarantine certain residents,” Conlee said. “We knew our staff members were positive too, so we did have to balance our workforce with that effort as well.”

Last week, Lawrence Hall celebrated with a COVID-free week.

“We stomped out COVID, so we wore cowboy outfits,” Conlee said. “Health care workers were superheroes, so everyone wore their capes and any superhero outfit they wanted.”

Conlee says workers will be calling family members to discuss visitation plans under ADH guidelines. It will be the first time visitors will be allowed inside the building since March.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Conlee said. “The mood is much better, both from our employees and residents, knowing that the next step is not too far away, so we are thankful for that.”

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