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Nursing home reports more COVID-19 cases

Updated at 6 p.m. to correct new cases reported.

Seven additional residents and one employee at a Troy long-term care facility have tested positive for COVID-19.

The results were announced on Wednesday, just a week after Troy Health and Rehabilitation officials announced six residents and one employee had tested positive. Since April, the facility has reported a total of 15 positive cases among residents and three among employees. One resident has fully recovered.

“The 14 positive residents are all on the same unit and isolated from the rest of the facility,” said Warren Kelly, CEO. “The residents and employees are receiving appropriate medical attention.”

Kelly said the cases were mild, but one resident has been hospitalized.

“As a proactive measure, Troy Health and Rehab will begin testing all residents for COVID-19 over the next several days,” Kelly said, adding that results will be made available when testing is complete.

The facility is home to 141 patients with approximately 160 contract workers and employees.

“Many nursing homes that have tested all residents have seen their numbers increase significantly,” Kelly said. “Based on this information, there is a possibility that our COVID-19 cases will increase as we test all residents.”

Kelly said TH&R continues to follow CDC, CMS and ADPH guidelines.

The spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities continues to be a point of concern in Alabama and nationwide.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began requiring long-term care facilities to start reporting COVID-19 cases directly to the agency last month. This week, the center published a state-by-state breakdown of the cases. The report, using data as of May 24,  shows more than 60,000 nursing home residents nationwide have contracted the disease and almost 26,000 have died. For Alabama, resident cases totaled more than 789 with deaths at 294.

“The release of this data by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proves that Alabama nursing homes are on the front lines of fighting COVID-19,” said Brandon Farmer, CEO and President of the Alabama Nursing Home Association. “At this time, 61 percent of Alabama facilities spread over 60 counties have reported to the ANHA a COVID-19 positive resident or employee at some point during the pandemic.”

Farmer also said that Alabama nursing homes have reported cases to their county health departments and the Alabama Department of Public Health since the pandemic began.

As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Alabama reported more than 18,550 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide, with more than 651 deaths. Pike County  has reported 208 confirmed cases with no deaths.