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Local nursing and rehabilitation centers increase safety measures amidst rising cases

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Crockett County spent several weeks with no COVID-19 cases while other counties across the state saw case numbers rising each day.

The first cases for the county were reported from Bells Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (BNRC) as residents in long term care facilities often leave the facility for medical reasons and return to continue receiving the care they need. BNRC has since remained stable in positive cases since the sudden onset in early April. Currently, the facility has two patient cases. “Both of those patients were admitted from the hospital with positive test results,” said Director of Operations Mark Davis. “There have been a few employees that tested positive in the past but all have recovered and had few to relatively mild or no symptoms.”

A few employees at Alamo Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ANRC) have tested positive over the past few months but the facility has recently seen a spike in cases within the facility’s staff and residents.

Currently ANRC has 34 residents that have tested positive for COVID-19, but several have recovered or are in the recovery phase. There are seven employees who are out on quarantine with the virus as of the time of this writing; most employees have had minor symptoms and should be able to return to duty in the next few days. “What a challenging month July was for the Alamo building,” said Davis.

Mandates for weekly employee testing began at the start of the month. “Alamo was fortunate enough to have zero positives on the first round,” said Davis. “We can only assume that the fourth of July holiday contributed to the recent outbreak.”

BNRC and ANRC have continued to consult with the Tennessee Department of Health to maintain quality resident care throughout the pandemic. With the increase in cases, the Department of Health has assisted the Alamo facility more in stopping the spread within the facility.

“We have consulted and asked for assistance from the Department of Health in Nashville and they were very responsive and had one of their infection control specialist spend a good portion of one day with us,” said Davis. “She made several recommendations for us to incorporate from helping us select the appropriate disinfectants and practices to viewing infection control techniques being practiced by our staff. We have also spent a great deal of time focusing on the air and ventilation systems, being that the experts believe that the most common mode of transmission is through airborne droplets. We will be adding additional ventilation to the building as soon as all of the mechanical details can be worked out and are hoping that we are flattening our curve here.”

The Tennessee Department of Health is reporting Crockett County as having 274 total cases and 117 active cases on Tuesday, August 11.



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