UPDATE: Union County Nursing Home patient tests positive for COVID-19

Health, News
Union County Nursing Home

UPDATE: April 27

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga –  In the April 27 Georgia Department of Community Health Long-Term Care Facility Report, it added a confirmed positive patient case in the Union County Nursing Home.

Previously, the government agency also listed a UCHS employee as positive for COVID-19. The April 27 data also increased the resident census to 140 residents.

Testing has become more available throughout Georgia, which will likely result in an increase in cases across the state.

Chatuge Regional Nursing Home also has one confirmed patient and one confirmed employee case.

Original Story Below

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – The Georgia Department of Community Health reported that one Union County Nursing Home Employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

As of April 24, no nursing home residents are listed as positive for COVID-19. However, a patient in Chatuge Regional Nursing Home was confirmed as positive on April 24.

Union County Nursing Home accommodates 138 residents according to community health. Chatuge Regional is home to 108 residents.

Union General Health System (UGHS) now has two confirmed employee cases since April 10 – one in Towns and one in Union. The health system’s policy doesn’t allow them to discuss employee or patient matters.

Both facilities previously closed the buildings to visitors and limited meals to in-room dining. UGHS has assured Fetch Your News multiple times that the system follows all CDC protocols for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents in both nursing homes are considered high-risk by the CDC and W.H.O. Several long-term care facilities across the country have been ravaged by COVID-19 including ones in Athens and Macon, Ga.

The CDC website stated that older patients may not exhibit typical COVID-19 symptoms, “such as fever or respiratory symptoms. Atypical symptoms may include new or worsening malaise, new dizziness, or diarrhea. Identification of these symptoms should prompt isolation and further evaluation for COVID-19.”

National Guard with Union County Nursing Home Staff, courtesy of nursing home.

The National Guard first visited Union County Nursing Home on April 22 to begin cleaning out the facility and will continue to sanitize the system’s buildings throughout weekend.

Once COVID-19 enters a facility, the CDC guidelines recommend “restricting all residents to their rooms and having HCP wear all recommended PPE for care of all residents (regardless of symptoms) on the affected unit (or facility-wide depending on the situation). This includes: an N95 or higher-level respirator (or facemask if a respirator is not available), eye protection, gloves, and gown. HCP should be trained on PPE use including putting it on and taking it off.”

With the high risk of unrecognized infection among residents, everyone in the facility must follow the outlined measures. Experience with the virus suggests that a “substantial proportion of residents could have COVID-19 without reporting symptoms or before symptoms develop.”

Facilities also are recommended to have a separate area to care for patients confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19. Ill residents must be checked at least three times daily to quickly determine if the level of care must be escalated.

The public health can assist in making decisions about testing asymptomatic residents.

Neighboring Long-Term Care Facilities with Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

The Blue Ridge Assisted Living and Memory Care facility has two employees who tested positive for COVID-19.

Pruitt Health Blue Ridge has one positive patient.

Dahlonega Assisted Living and Memory Care has one positive employee.

Please keep all these individuals and residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in your thoughts and prayers are this time.

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