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National Guard deep-cleans nursing facility

An official with Crowne Health Care of Greenville confirmed Tuesday morning that the Alabama National Guard was onsite earlier this week to disinfect the 118-bed, skilled-nursing facility that currently houses 78 residents and is located in the middle of the Camellia City.

A special team with the National Guard was deployed to the nursing home Monday afternoon to sanitize and deep-clean the facility. The service is being offered free of charge on a voluntary basis to skilled-nursing facilities throughout the state, according to Crowne spokeswoman Frances Coleman.

“We appreciate the opportunity to utilize this service,” she said in a statement.

Last Friday, May 15, Coleman said 87 employees are currently staffing the Greenville nursing home. There are currently 35 COVID-positive residents being cared for in the facility and another 26 in area hospitals. Eight residents have passed away that tested positive for COVID-19, but the cause of death has not been determined.

Coleman said that Crowne is grateful for the support of local hospitals, which have welcomed residents who have exhibited symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.

“We have a great relationship with the hospitals in Greenville and Wetumpka,” she said. “They’ve been very supportive and helpful in this difficult time.”

In addition, 32 employees have tested positive for the virus. None are hospitalized and there have been no employee deaths, according to Coleman.

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 295 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 10 deaths in Butler County. A total of 1,052 tests have been administered following last Friday’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic at the Butler County Health Department. Of those tested in Butler County, 28 percent test positive for the virus with a mortality rate of 3.38 percent.

Coleman also noted that the disease has been especially hard on elderly people with pre-existing health problems, including nursing home residents nationwide.

“It is a brutal virus,” she said. “At the very beginning, we instituted safety precautions designed to protect our residents and employees from exposure to it.”

Lastly, Coleman said that morale is high at Crowne Health Care. She added that staff members are caring for residents in accordance with federal and state health officials’ guidelines.

“We are blessed with great employees who are dedicated to our residents,” Coleman concluded. “They believe in our mission, which is to provide compassionate and professional care for the people entrusted to us.”

The ADPH also reports 53 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths following 529 tests administered in neighboring Crenshaw County, as well as, 140 cases and 10 deaths after 402 tests in Lowndes County.