Cases of COVID-19 spike in Sharp County, Ark. after testing at nursing facility

ASH FLAT, Ark. -- The Arkansas State Health Department reports 39 positive cases of COVID-19 tied to a nursing home in Ash Flat.

FILE - In this April 16, 2020, file photo, vials containing nasal swabs collected at a COVID-19 drive-through testing site are dropped into a plastic bag to be sent off for processing after being collected in St. Louis. An Associated Press review of more than 20 states found that before the coronavirus outbreak many had at least a modest supply of N95 masks, gowns, gloves and other medical equipment. But those supplies often were well past their expiration dates, left over from the H1N1 influenza outbreak a decade ago. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Dr. Naveen Patil, Medical Director for Infectious Disease inside the Arkansas Department of Health, confirmed the cases to KY3 News.

The state tested patients and staff at the Ash Flat Healthcare last week after a patient tested positive for the virus. In all, 30 patients and nine members of the staff tested positive for the coronavirus. The state reports two deaths in the facility tied to the virus.

State officials tell me that most of the people that tested positive were asymptomatic.

65 people live at the facility.

The Arkansas Health Care Association tells KY3 all of the positive cases have been moved to a separate wing of the nursing home and only certain staff can care for them.

Staff members who tested positive are in isolation and quarantining at home.

Staff will have to test negative before they're allowed back in to work.

The state says there's plenty of PPE on hand and that health department officials have been on scene to help.

Throughout the state, health leaders report cases in 51 nursing homes.