Americus senior living home resident tests positive for COVID-19

Americus senior living home resident tests positive for COVID-19
Magnolia Manor in Americus (Source: Magnolia Manor's Facebook page)

AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - Magnolia Manor, a senior living home in Americus, reported its first positive COVID-19 resident on Monday.

According to a press release from Magnolia Manor, the resident was taken to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center and is improving and is likely to be discharged later this week.

The release also states that four other residents have been isolated and are waiting on test results.

Two staff members have self-quarantined at home, and are also waiting on test results, according to the facility.

“Each presumptive case has been isolated from others who might be at risk. However, President and CEO Mark R. Todd reports that all currently available space has now been utilized for isolation. Staff is working to create a new isolation area for future cases on Unit 6 of the Nursing Center building to try and prevent a complete building lockdown. This recently renovated space has heating and air conditioning units uniquely suited to create the negative air pressure required for isolation units. Campus maintenance and environmental services staff worked throughout the weekend to prepare the space. They also constructed vestibules outside each isolation room so staff could change personal protective equipment (PPE) between residents. Current Unit 6 residents who are capable of being discharged will be sent home. Others not ready for discharge will be moved to another location,” the press release states.

Magnolia Manor said staff is preparing for more cases because of the nature of COVID-19.

“This has quickly become a very real and personal thing, and it is becoming more and more personal. Things are changing so quickly. As much as we prepared, the inevitable has happened. We will do all we can to keep our residents and staff safe,” said Todd.

The senior living facility said that is already using its inventory of PPE supplies but also said it has requested more from state resources.

“We are in constant communication with state authorities, as well as the CDC and CMS. We need their help because our staff is under siege,” stated Todd. “Phoebe Sumter Hospital is full, so we must serve our own patients until hospitalization becomes absolutely necessary. I understand the stress this puts on our staff, both personally and professionally.”

Todd said four nursing center employees quit via text and others are considering doing the same.

“It is disappointing that during these unprecedented times anyone who has chosen to make a career in nursing would quit so suddenly and put an extraordinary burden on their coworkers, the residents and the families who have entrusted us with their loved one’s care," Todd said. "We want to recognize the sacrifices our employees are making, so we have implemented hazard pay for those who are working on the isolation units. We are effectively doubling their salaries. Meanwhile, we continue to take every precaution to keep them safe.”

Todd indicated that donations through the organization’s charitable arm, The League of the Good Samaritan, are urgently needed to offset the expenses associated with addressing the pandemic.

“Despite the cost, we’re going to do everything we can to do what is right for our residents and staff,” said Todd.

Anyone who would like to help can make donations by check or by credit card on the organization’s website.

“We will communicate as we are able, and we really appreciate your prayers and understanding during this difficult time,” said Todd.

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