This article was written on Monday, May 18. Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 case numbers update daily and may have changed from the time this article was written.
While Bells Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (BNRC) held Crockett County’s first novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, patients toward the end of April, the community and long term care facilities have remained low in comparison to many other counties over the past month.
Crockett County began seeing reports of 13 total positive cases and one death in Crockett on the Tennessee Department of Health’s (TDOH) daily updates this week.
BNRC is now being reported as having nine positive cases and one death. Alamo Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ANRC) is now being reported to have three positive cases. Cases in the Clusters in Long Term Care Facilities include residents and staff members of a facility, even if those staff members do not live within Crockett County. In the TDOH County COVID-19 chart, those individuals who work for the long-term care facility would be counted in the county where they reside.
Before the governors’ orders for all long-term care facilities to test took place, the BNRC and ANRC had implemented an aggressive testing strategy for their residents and staff.
In the first testing phase at BNRC the week of April 20, six residents and one staff member tested positive. In the following days and weeks, those seven individuals have been considered to be recovered and have returned to their normal baseline capacity.
According to BNRC and ANRC Director of Operations, Mark Davis, the individual who passed away at BNRC originally tested positive during the mass testing exercise but retested negative a few days later. The resident was under hospice care at BNRC and was not exhibiting the symptoms normally associated with the virus and was considered a recovered COVID-19 patient.
All residents who go to the hospital and return to the long term care facilities are tested upon arrival back to the facility. Two residents spent an extended period of time at the hospital and were tested upon arrival back to BNRC. Their tests returned positive.
This resulted in the BNRC count rising to nine, as residents and staff are added into the Tennessee Department of Health’s Clusters in Long Term Care Facilities chart.
ANRC also tested all residents and staff with results showing three of their staff members as positive for COVID-19. One of those staff members works in a clerical position without a lot of contact with residents and exhibited no symptoms. That individual retested the next day and received a negative result.
The three staff members that tested positive are the three positive reported cases in the TDOH Clusters in Long Term Care Facilities for ANRC.
Two of those staff members at ANRC are not residents of Crockett County.
Mayor Gary Reasons refers to the numbers of non-long term care facility residents as positive general public cases. With the explanation of how the two charts reflect numbers, only 10 of the 12 counted in long-term care would be reflected in the TDOH Crockett County Chart. This further shows that there are three positive general public cases within Crockett.
According Unified Command, numbers may vary based on who is providing data. The long-term care facility case data continues to be updated each Friday.
In the daily TDOH county case count breakdown, “recovered” individuals are those who have been confirmed to be asymptomatic by their local or regional health department and have completed their required isolation period or are at least 21 days beyond the first test confirming their illness.
The TDOH is not collecting data on antibody testing, so the data is neither publicly available nor useful for surveillance activities.