Georgiana nursing home employee positive for COVID-19

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, April 15, 2020

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As the state’s coronavirus case numbers continue to rise, a Georgiana nursing home employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

Joe Perkins, a spokesman for NHS Management, which manages Georgiana Health & Rehabilitation and more than 30 other facilities, said the employee recently tested positive. Perkins said the employee’s daughter contracted strep, which lead to the employee being tested. The employee found out last Friday of the positive test. Perkins said the employee had been working an abbreviated schedule with limited exposure and that no other cases had been reported at the nursing home.

As of Tuesday morning, Alabama had 3,809 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 33,050 tests being performed. So far, 105 deaths have been reported by the Alabama Department of Public Health with 73 confirmed to have been caused by the illness. Butler County’s number of confirmed cases stood at eight out of 87 tests Tuesday morning. No deaths have been reported locally.

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In nearby Crenshaw County, 118 tests have been performed with only three cases confirmed. In Lowndes County, there were 16 confirmed cases as of Tuesday morning with 76 total tests performed. No deaths have been reported in Lowndes or Crenshaw counties. NHS Management also manages Luverne Health and Rehabilitation.

In Shelby County, more than 20 residents and employees at a long-term care facility have tested positive for COVID-19. Fifteen residents and seven employees tested positive at Columbiana Health and Rehabilitation, according to a press release from NHS Management, the facility’s parent company.

According to Perkins, the facility’s management received special permission from health care authorities to test all of the residents and employees for the virus in an effort to prevent and contain it. Of the facility’s 15 residents that tested positive, only two displayed symptoms.

“As test results come in, we are taking every step to care for and treat those who test positive and using all measures at our disposal to protect those who test negative from contracting the virus,” the release stated.

Residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been isolated and employees that tested positive or exhibited symptoms have been sent home for a minimum self-isolation period.

“Since the onset of this emergency, management has consulted with leading epidemiologists in the field and gone beyond all required protocols to protect our residents and employees,” the release said. “Finally, no one can fully appreciate the dedication of our staff who day after day come to work in the most trying conditions of the past century to provide the care required for our most vulnerable citizens.”