14 residents, 1 staff member test positive for COVID-19 at nursing home

ByBria Bolden|April 27, 2020 at 10:45 PM EDT - Updated April 27 at 11:36 PM

RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - As of Monday morning 41 percent of the COVID-19 deaths reported in Georgia are nursing home residents.

Residents and staff in nursing homes make up 16 percent of the statewide confirmed case.

Here at home, Bryan County Health and Rehabilitation Center currently has 14 residents and one staff member who’ve tested positive for the virus.

Bryan County Health and Rehabilitation Center has been a part of the Richmond Hill Community for 23 years.

They house 79 residents and say testing for COVID-19 hasn't been easy.

“It has been so difficult to get accurate and quick testing. This week was really one of the first weeks when the testing became available. We’ve struggled with testing because in the nursing home I cannot care for the sick patients and keep the well patients well without knowing who is infected,” said Operations Manager Terry Cook.

The center has 14 residents who’ve tested positive for the virus.

Four residents are in the hospital with the virus and the others are being monitored closely in a special area of the center.

Cook says a private lab tested the residents and staff and found out many of those who tested positive were asymptomatic.

Cook also says they’ve been prepping for a while and are using infection control measures, following CDC guidelines and talking with the Department of Public Health and Healthcare Facility Regulation daily.

The home is also having the Georiga National Guard come on a weekly basis to disinfect the building, purchasing an air purification and UV lighting systems, working with respiratory therapists and taking other measures to protect residents and staff.

“We have contracted with a company that does the disinfection for operating rooms and they will be here on Monday to treat the home with a germicide and they do some testing to verify that it has been destroyed.”

Cook says testing right now is critical in order to continue to protect their residents and staff. They’re thankful to the their families and community for their support during this difficult time.

“Our main goal, it’s just a privilege to serve our patients and our only priority is serving them and doing our best to take care of them.”

You can find more information on the number of cases in Georgia nursing homes on the Department of Public Health’swebsite.

Photo: Getty Images

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