As of Monday afternoon, Comer Health and Rehabilitation has 52 residents who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, with one hospitalized. That total went up 44 from Friday, when there were eight positives on the daily state nursing home report. The total for positive staff members at the facility remains at three as of Monday, according to Comer Health and Rehabilitation Director Bo Dalton.
Amy Abel, director of communications for the facility, has said previously that the positive staff members would not be able to return to work until further notice.
After having some patients exhibit symptoms, Dalton said the decision was made on Friday, May 15, to test all 96 residents for the COVID-19 virus.
Dalton said that test results have continued to come in and as of late Monday afternoon, there are still four tests pending and 40 negative tests. He said of the 52 positives, most of the patients are either asymptomatic or have low-grade fevers. One patient, a female, has been hospitalized, Dalton said, and is in isolation.
“As of this afternoon, she has not been admitted to the ICU,” he said.
Dalton said as results have come in, the nursing home staff has communicated by phone with patients’ family members to keep them abreast of the situation and that those communications will be followed up by letter.
He said there are about 70-to-80 employees at the center on a day-to-day basis and that right now they have adequate staff and that those staff have adequate PPE (personal protective equipment) from the Department of Health to safely do their jobs.
He said the staff was working Monday to finalize and implement their plan of housing positive patients separately from negative patients in order to try to prevent further spread of the virus.
“Our employees have done an outstanding job in caring for all our residents and they remain dedicated and vigilant, I am very proud of them,” Dalton said. “The main goal right now is to take care of our residents and remain transparent and accurate in the situation that we have.”
As word got out Monday, the nursing home has received numerous calls from family members but also from community members simply calling to offer their support.
“We are so appreciative of all the support from our residents’ family members and from our community,” Dalton said. “It really means a lot and overall we are doing OK for what the situation is.”
Abel said the unknowns about COVID-19 continue to outweigh what is known about the virus at this time.
“As healthcare providers, we are constantly adjusting our plans to fight the spread of this virus based on the most current recommendations from the CDC and DPH,” she said. “Comer Health and Rehabilitation continues numerous preventive measures to help protect the health of our patients and our staff. We are dedicated to combating the spread of the virus in our community and protecting the well-being and safety of our patients and staff.”
Reports of virus activity in nursing homes in Georgia is updated daily. To follow Comer and all other nursing home virus activity go to: http://www.comerhealth.org/upload/docs/dailyreport/covidreport.pdf