Twenty-four residents and eight employees of a Greenwood nursing home have tested positive for the new coronavirus in state-ordered testing.
The Golden Age staff members are being quarantined at home and the residents are being quarantined at the nursing home, said Nay Reed, the facility’s administrator. The majority of residents were asymptomatic, she said.
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“All residents are being monitored for any acute changes, and if symptoms warrant further treatment they will be transferred to Greenwood Leflore Hospital. We are keeping families informed of changes in condition of positive cases as well as changes in condition of any residents.”
The residents and staff of all of Mississippi’s long-term care facilities are being tested, as mandated by the state, for coronavirus infection.
There was no information about testing and test results provided Tuesday from the management of Greenwood’s two other nursing homes — Riverview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and Crystal Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center.
Vaiden Community Living Center said all testing of employees and residents has been completed but did not release results.
The Vaiden nursing home and Crystal Rehab have both experienced serious outbreaks. Riverview in the past reported that one resident tested positive for COVID-19.
At Indywood Glen and Country Meadow assisted living homes in Greenwood, owners said their facilities have yet to be tested. Both have consistently reported no cases among their residents and staffs.
Dr. Thomas Dobbs, state health officer, said Tuesday that 60% of the state’s long-term care facilities have been tested.
Nursing home residents, because of their age or poor health, are particularly vulnerable to the respiratory disease. Just over half of the 652 individuals to die of COVID-19 in Mississippi had been living in long-term care facilities.
At Golden Age, Reed said that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which administers in full or in part the two government-sponsored insurance programs, has indicated weekly testing will be required for all staff and residents as part of a federal three-phase reopening plan. Once there is a sustained decrease in COVID-19 cases, the weekly tests may no longer be mandated, and some restrictions on visitation may begin to be lifted.
Golden Age previously had one resident who tested positive for the virus and was quarantined, and after successive negative tests, was readmitted to the general population at the home.
Eight cases resulting in death have occurred among residents of nursing homes in Carroll County and 15 in Leflore County. The majority of the deaths have involved residents who had been living at Crystal Rehab or Vaiden Community Living Center.
Among the Carroll deaths, four people were black and four were white. In Leflore, 14 were black and one was white, according to state Department of Health statistics.
The department, which has refused to name nursing homes with outbreaks, has lost a lawsuit in Hinds County brought against it by Pine Belt News, which is owned by Hattiesburg Publishing Inc. and is a sister newspaper of the Commonwealth’s. Circuit Judge Tiffany Groves ruled Tuesday that the Department of Health must respond to the Hattiesburg paper’s request for specific information on long-term care facilities in Forrest County that have COVID-19 outbreaks, including identifying the facilities.
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