HEALTH

Woodbine Rehab Center infected by norovirus

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(WJLA) - This is the sign that sits in the lobby of the Woodbine Rehabilitation Center in Alexandria. It reads:

“Attention visitors, there are confirmed cases of norovirus within the facility. If you insist on visiting, you visit at your own risk.”

"No one from the facility called me and told me my mother is in danger,” said Yolanda Towns, who explains that she saw the signs when she went to visit her mother at Woodbine on Sunday. She was immediately alarmed:

"I don't know what that virus can do. I am not comfortable with that germ because I don't know what it's about."

An outbreak of the highly contagious virus – which attacks the digestive system and induces diarrhea and vomiting – caused 230 students and teachers to fall ill and forced Alexandria’s John Adams Elementary School to cancel classes on Friday while crews cleaned the building over the weekend.

At the time, health officials insisted the virus was contained within John Adams, though officials at Woodbine are saying they also experienced a very small number of cases at their facility, which they reported to the Alexandria Health Department.

The center stated in an email:

“The number of affected residents at Woodbine is small because we are trained to immediately implement protocols that allow us to keep the virus contained until it is eliminated."

Still, Yolanda Towns says she is concerned for her mother. John Adams Elementary is less than four miles from the Woodbine Rehab Center, and Towns wonders why Woodbine was not shut down.

"No one called me from the facility to let me know that my mother could be in danger," she said.

A recent visitor told us off-camera that no one wore gowns yesterday, and that the staff made no mention of the virus.

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