Elk River Heath and Nursing Center in Ardmore has 79 beds, but right now, there are just 31 patients living there.
It was reported 30 of the 31 patients have contracted the COVID-19 virus at some point during the facility’s outbreak. One had the virus before being admitted into the facility.
A virus outbreak started in the facility on September 18th. Since then, 52 patients have contracted the virus, 17 of those have died. Officials say there were about 62 patients total when the outbreak started.
Some of the 17 patients who died have been with the center for years, according to Administrator J.D. Davis.
“To lose that many that quick, is a devastating blow to not just the families, but the extended family of the staff who take care of these patients every day,” Davis said.
The outbreak started after two staff members tested positive on September 16th. The staff was, and still are, being tested weekly.
Mandatory testing of patients began immediately after hearing the news of the two positive staff members. Patients have been tested weekly ever since.
On the 18th, three patients tested positive, and the outbreak had officially begun. It has “spread like a wildfire,” according to Davis.
These positive cases also mean weekly inspections from the Tennessee Department of Health. Two inspectors were at Elk River Tuesday in unmarked cars and the facility has passed all inspections so far.
Davis said there are three of 31 current patients who are still testing COVID positive. They will continue getting visits from the Department of Health and testing the patients regularly until the building reaches zero COVID positive cases.