More than 100 residents, staff in Tennessee nursing home test positive for coronavirus

More than 100 residents, staff in Tennessee nursing home test positive for coronavirus
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More than 100 residents and staff in a Tennessee nursing home have tested positive for the coronavirus.

At least 74 residents of Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing and 33 staff have tested positive for the virus, according to an announcement from Gov. Bill Lee’s (R) office. Of those residents, 59 tested positive on Sunday and headed to Sumner Regional Medical Center for treatment. 

Two nursing home residents have died from COVID-19, according to a Facebook statement from the Sumner Regional Medical Center. A total of 34 noncritical patients were relocated to various health care facilities in the area Sunday.

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“Our hearts are with the residents and their families and all of those mourning loved ones during this difficult time,” the statement reads. 

The infected staff members are isolated in their homes at this time.

Twenty-three residents were transported to the medical center on Friday, with assistance from the state government, Unified Command of the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. 

The state government is “facilitating deep cleaning and disinfecting” at the nursing home, which authorities believe “followed proper protocols at this time.” The Gallatin Center will be investigated further, according to the governor’s release. 

"This situation has escalated quickly and we urge nursing homes and assisted care facilities to reach out to us as soon as cases are identified within their populations," Unified Command Director Stuart McWhorter said. 

Lee ordered restrictions prohibiting outside visitors to assisted living facilities and nursing homes on March 22.

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On Saturday, more than 20 National Guard personnel helped test residents and staff and helped isolate residents who displayed symptoms.

Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt in a Sunday news conference identified one of the people who died as Homer Barr, a retired captain for the Gallatin Fire Department. The mayor had said 142 patients have been tested, and 17 more were taken to the hospital Saturday.

Tennessee has recorded more than 1,500 cases of the coronavirus, 133 hospitalizations and seven deaths, according to state department data.