Outbreak sweeps ‘The Willows’ senior living facility

Updated: Jan 27

By Jamie Wiggan


-Kennedy-


Kennedy Township senior living facility The Residence at Willow Lane has been hit by a surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, affecting both staff and resident populations.


According to data compiled by Pennsylvania’s Department of Health, the senior living facility remained almost entirely free of cases until the week of Nov. 23, when five staff cases were diagnosed.


In subsequent weeks, staff cases rose slowly, while resident cases remained in the single digits before jumping to eight on the week of Dec. 21.


The latest data show the facility — which houses approximately 60 residents — has 37 confirmed resident cases and 32 confirmed among staff. Resident deaths remain at an undisclosed number between 1-5, while staff deaths, if any, are not recorded in state records.


The facility is currently under lockdown with all visits limited to pre-arranged virtual meetings and window visits.


Since the coronavirus outbreak in early 2020, senior living facilities have frequently turned into hotspots for the disease. So far in Allegheny County, more than 5,000 residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities have contracted the virus, with 741 dying as a result.


The Willows, a part of the Heritage Valley Health System, was inspected by the Department of Human Services on Oct. 23 in response to an unspecified complaint, however, it was not flagged at the time for any coronavirus-related violations.


— Spotlight PA Reporter Jamie Martines contributed to this report.