Wilton Retirement Community has COVID-19 outbreak

WILTON, Iowa—On April 15, the Iowa Department of Public Health and Muscatine County Public Health confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Wilton Retirement Community, the first in the county. The Iowa Department of Public Heath’s website confirmed six positive cases. After the Iowa Department of Public Health provided additional tests for residents and staff, the number of positive cases rose to 11 by April 17. 

April 14, Wilton Retirement Community Administrator Shelly Wicks posted on the long-term care facility’s Facebook page that they had several positive cases of COIVD-19, but did not give an exact number or specify whether the cases occurred among residents or staff members. Wicks also detailed how the facility adhered to CDC recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19 at long-term care facilities, including ending visits from the public and non-essential staff, the use of personal protective equipment, and cancellation of all group activities and meals and all public outings. When contacted, Wicks and corporate staff of Simpson Memorial Home Incorporated, the operators of the Wilton Retirement Community, declined to comment further. 

Following a meeting with Muscatine County Public Health at 3 p. m. April 15, Wilton Mayor Bob Barrett confirmed that the Wilton Retirement Community had six positive COVID-19 cases but that Public Health had not shared whether the cases occurred among residents, staff members, or both. He also shared that the facility had followed CDC guidelines. “They went through all the protocols and tried to do everything right, but it still happened anyway—it’s a rather sad affair,” he said. Barrett also thanked Public Health for their ongoing support of the city and the Wilton Retirement Community.