ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Frontier Health & Rehabilitation employees are speaking for the first time detailing the impact COVID-19 has had on the facility.
"We knew the pandemic was coming. The sad thing was we didn’t know it was already here,” said Rob Stout, Frontier Occupational Therapist.
Kimberly Wyatt, administrator with Frontier, said when the virus entered the facility in late March, no one really knew how to handle it.
“Covid is something that nobody knew the outcome for,” said Wyatt.
As a result of the spread, 20 residents died from the virus and employees like Rob Stout were also infected.
“I was one of the early ones that got infected, it was a little bit scary to tell you the truth,” he said.
Administrators said they immediately began reporting their numbers to the St. Charles Health Department and the CDC for guidance.
“Communication is everything, people try hiding things to cover their look but at the end of the day that’s what needed to keep your residents safe,” Wyatt said.
From that reporting, Frontier said they received help from St. Charles County and outside organizations in the form of donations of medical supplies.
They formed a coronavirus unit to keep those infected separate from the general population.
Because of the turnaround in late April, the facility started serving as a rehab unit for those recovering from coronavirus.
“We’re accepting Covid patients from the hospital where no other facility will. For us to be a choice for the hospital I think that says a lot within itself," said Wyatt.
Kimberly Caffey was stunned to find out a Normandy nursing home transferred her 97-year-old aunt to Frontier Health and Rehab in St. Charles, a nursing facility with an outbreak of coronavirus cases and deaths.
Frontier isn’t alone, nearly 80 nursing facilities across the state have reported COVID-19 cases.
No new cases have been reported at Frontier in the last three weeks, and 70 residents have recovered from the virus.