Over 30 Athens nursing home patients, employees test positive for COVID-19

Over 30 Athens nursing home patients, employees test positive for COVID-19
Limestone Health Facility (Source: Limestone Health Facility)

ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - One nursing facility in Athens confirmed reports of multiple positive COVID-19 tests on Monday.

Wade Menefee, director of nursing at the Senior Rehab and Recovery Center, says 23 patients have tested positive for COVID-19. Also, nine employees received positive test results.

Their first positive test came back on June 19.

“We decided to do blanket testing over the whole facility, and that’s the reason why we found the positives we did find,” Menefee said.

Currently, all patients are isolated and being treated at the nursing home. Any patient that cannot be fully treated within the facility will be transported to Athens-Limestone Hospital.

Employees are quarantining at home.

“We have been very proactive in monitoring the situation and sanitizing,” Menefee explained.

Menefee says the National Guard sanitized the entire facility in April, and the facility’s been following CDC guidelines since March.

However, COVID-19 still made its way into the facility and is impacting about 14 percent of its residents.

“We designed a unit here within our facility that is an observation wing as well as isolation wing for any patients we have that are positive. We have designated staff who are caring for those patients,” Menefee explained.

The facility is still allowing visitors. The only people who are allowed, are those who are screened, and are visiting an “end of life patient”.

Administration would not disclose whether an employee or patient tested positive first.

The rehab and recover center is located at 1600 W Hobbs Street in Athens. Capacity is 170 patients.

*Editor’s note: Menefee’s name is mispronounced in the video above. We apologize for the error.

WAFF is working to gather more details on this developing story.

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