Officials inspect nursing home with nearly 90 cases of COVID-19 -TV

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Updated: Sat 9:26 PM, Apr 11, 2020

Saturday, April 11, 2020

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — Augusta Fire & EMA says 71 patients and 18 employees inside an Augusta nursing home are now confirmed to have the coronavirus.

Saturday, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and Augusta Fire & EMA inspected the Windermere Health and Rehabilitation Center after concern for the well-being of residents and staff.

Under Code § 3-3-41, firefighters and EMTs wearing full PPE observed patient care, safety protocols established by the center, and any potential concerns.

“Our number one concern is the safety and well-being of everyone involved with this center, whether that be a patient or an employee,” Fire Chief/EMA Director Christopher E. James said. “We just want to make sure the center is taking necessary steps to contain the outbreak and make sure everyone stays protected.”

The firefighters and EMTs were provided a tour of the facility and were informed of the updated procedures being instituted by the center based on CDC guidance and DPH direction with the intent of containing the occurrence within the center.

This comes a day after officials at the nursing home and its parent company, SavaSeniorCare Administrative Services in Atlanta announced 67 patients and 7 employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials say there are now 89 total positive cases inside the facility.

Windermere Health and Rehabilitation Center released a statement:

“A collaborative approach is imperative in tackling this terrible virus. The local fire department and several paramedics visited and toured Windermere Healthcare Center today and found that the Center was taking the appropriate measures to protect all residents and provide ongoing treatment for those who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Our absolute top priority is the safety and care of our residents, and we are taking immense measures to safeguard those who are not infected, and isolate and treat those who are. At the Center we currently have a district operator and district team members, as well as our medical director on site, who are solely focused on providing care for our residents, in accordance with the CDC guidelines.

We continue to take significant measures to protect our residents, including:
-Providing appropriate PPE, taking heightened precautions and adhering to protocols outlined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
-We are also working closely with our local health department to prevent exposure and to protect all our residents and staff at the Center.
-Before every shift, we assess the health of our staff and screen all staff members for respiratory illness, which includes a temperature check.
-We are also restricting visitation at this time based on guidance from the CDC and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

We are working closely with the health authorities to follow their guidance and will continue to be transparent with all information released to the authorities, family members and the wider public, while maintaining the dignity and privacy of each of our residents. We appreciate the continued dedication of our healthcare heroes, the long-term care community, and the agencies and associations that support us in our efforts.

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