Virus update 1

The death of a seventh resident of Winder Health Care and Rehabilitation from COVID-19 was confirmed Monday by the Georgia Department of Community Health.

The nursing home on East May Street has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Since the start of the outbreak, 74 residents and 23 employees have tested positive, and now seven of the residents have died — some at the facility and some at hospitals, according to the facility's administrator. 

The vast majority of the residents who tested positive were asymptomatic as of last week, while most of the employees have been able to recover from the virus and return to work under federal safety guidelines. 

The Georgia National Guard tested all of the facility's residents on April 30. Administrator Katy Callaway said last week 11 residents were retested because their initial results returned "invalid" due to faulty samples. The results were expected to take three to seven days to return, Callaway said. 

A community prayer service for the nursing home, organized by the pastors of Carter Hill Christian Church in Bethlehem, is planned for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 14, in the parking lot of Winder Health Care. 

Those wishing to attend are asked to wear facial coverings and maintain social distancing and to park in the Publix shopping center across the street. 

The DCH provides updates to its numbers, reported by each long-term care facility in the state, every week night. 

The only other Barrow site currently listed with at least one confirmed positive case is the Mulberry Grove assisted living facility in Statham. One employee but no residents have tested positive there as of the latest update. 

LATEST DPH, NGHS NUMBERS

As of the latest update from the Georgia Department of Public Health released at 7 p.m. Monday, Barrow County has 195 confirmed cases of coronavirus and six county residents have died from COVID-19. 

State officials have said there may be a reporting lag in the data of up to two weeks due to the way information is verified.

Statewide, the number of confirmed cases surpassed 34,000 Monday evening and there have been 1,444 deaths confirmed — a mortality rate of 4.2 percent, which has held steady the last two weeks. 

Numbers for other counties around Barrow County include:

•Gwinnett County — 2,475 cases and 92 deaths.

•Hall County — 2,039 cases and 29 deaths.

•Clarke County — 188 cases and 13 deaths.

•Walton County — 152 cases and seven deaths.

•Jackson County — 124 cases and three deaths.

•Oconee County — 66 cases and no deaths.

As 11:30 a.m. Monday, Northeast Georgia Health System was reporting the hospitalization of 124 Barrow County residents since the start of the outbreak and the death of six Barrow residents at its facilities. 

At Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow in Winder, eight people confirmed to have COVID-19 were being treated and seven were awaiting test results as of Monday morning, while 34 people had been discharged. 

Systemwide, NGHS reported 114 positive patients and 119 more awaiting results as of 10 a.m. Monday, while 430 people had been discharged and 58 had died.

The system currently projects May 22 as the date its number of patients requiring care will outpace adequate staffing capacity. 

Nationwide, there were 1.35 million confirmed cases and more than 80,300 deaths as of 8 p.m. Monday, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine online tracker.

All Georgians are now eligible for COVID-19 testing whether they are symptomatic or not and can set up a screening by contacting their local health department or downloading a new Augusta University screening app on their mobile device.  

Continue to check barrownewsjournal.com for the latest local and statewide updates related to the coronavirus pandemic.

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