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Six Residents Test Positive For COVID-19 At Glenwood State-Run Facility For Disabled Iowans

The Glenwood Resource Center is a state-run facility for Iowans with severe disabilities.
Katie Peikes
IPR file
The Glenwood Resource Center is a state-run facility for Iowans with severe disabilities.

Six residents of the Glenwood Resource Center, a state-run residential facility for Iowans with severe disabilities, have tested positive for coronavirus.

This means the Glenwood Resource Center meets the state’s threshold of a long-term care facility coronavirus outbreak, defined as three or more resident infections.

According to a DHS spokesperson, the six residents who tested positive have been moved to a “designated COVID house.” Seven staff members also tested positive.

DHS spoksperson Matt Highland said in an email that no one is seriously ill at this time.

"All of the residents were asymptomatic at the time of positive test results," Highland said. "Two of the residents developed mild symptoms."

Highland said the virus "appears to have been brought in by staff."

"We will continue robust mitigation strategies to prevent further spread, and will hopefully move through this outbreak similarly to how we moved through multiple outbreaks at the Woodward Resource Center earlier this summer," Highland said.

DHS runs six residential facilities, and Glenwood is the third to have a coronavirus outbreak. State-run health facility cases are tracked in a document posted online by the Iowa Department of Human Services.

On May 1, a resident at Woodward Resource Center was the first DHS facility resident to test positive for coronavirus.

According to the DHS document, the Woodward facility has had at least two outbreaks. At least 22 residents there tested positive for COVID-19.

In July, an outbreak started at the Boys State Training School in Eldora. Twenty-six residents tested positive, according to the DHS document.

Federal investigators also visited the Glenwood Resource Center this year because the facility’s former leaders were alleged to have conducted experiments on medically vulnerable residents. A Des Moines Register investigation last year found state employees had repeatedly raised concerns about an increase in deaths and injuries at Glenwood.

This post was updated at 12:24 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.

Katarina Sostaric is IPR's State Government Reporter