31 Ala. nursing homes report positive COVID-19 cases
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Nursing Home Association says 31 of its member nursing homes are reporting cases of the COVID-19 respiratory virus as of Monday.
The cases are spread across facilities in 17 counties, and include residents, staff members, or both, at facilities in rural and urban locations.
“Alabama nursing homes continue to do everything they can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and treat those who are diagnosed with the virus," ANHA President & CEO Brandon Farmer explained. But, he added, “I predict the number of nursing homes with cases will grow as more tests are administered and the results are returned.”
Farmer said delays in getting testing kits and results “are beyond our control, yet places our residents and employees at great risk.”
Despite that, the ANHA says it has taken the threat seriously from the beginning by restricting and then stopping visitations, as well as requiring employee screenings before any state or federal agency required it.
“They continue to practice infection control guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and isolate residents who test positive or are believed to have been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive,” Farmer added.
“Like other health care providers, nursing homes need a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment (PPE),” he went on. "Infection control measures will only be as effective as our ability to secure PPE.”
The ANHA represents 94 percent of the state’s 231 nursing homes, which care for more than 24,500 residents and short-term rehab patients.
As of Monday afternoon, the Alabama Department of Public Health had confirmed nearly 2,000 positive cases of the pandemic statewide, with at least 32 deaths.
Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.