As of Tuesday afternoon, 14 COVID-19 deaths were reported in Liberty County. Nine of the 14 reported deaths were patients of Magnolia Manor in Midway.
According to Ginger Heidel, Risk Communicator at the Coastal Health District, the numbers they report include all COVID deaths within the county including folks in assisted living facilities.
According to the Aug. 24 Long-Term Care Facility Report provided on the Georgia Department of Health’s website, Magnolia Manor in Midway has 71 residents of which 69 have tested positive for COVID-19.
The report shows that ten have recovered but nine patients have died. They also reported that 15 staff members tested positive.
It is the highest number of positive COVID patients from their nine different campuses across Georgia.
The Courier reached out Magnolia Manor’s Vice President for Clinical Services and Corporate Compliance Officer, Barbara Mitchell, who said, “All residents are currently under precautions to mitigate any further spread of the virus. The number of positive cases in the facility is a reflection of the significantly increased numbers in the community at large. We are screening all employees upon entrance into the building and assessing all residents every shift for symptoms of COVID. Staff are in full PPE when caring for all of the residents. We are testing our residents and staff on a routine basis.” Mitchell added that residents that test positive are place in transmission precautions on a COVID Unit. All staff that test positive are placed out of work until they meet the guidance from CDC for return to work. “Magnolia Manor works very hard at maintaining transparency and the number of positive residents and staff are updated daily and the report is posted on our website,” she said
Magnolia Manor’s Home Office in Americus issues a weekly update on COVID-19. Their latest release dated Aug. 19, briefly addressed an increase at their Midway location.
In the release Magnolia Manor President and CEO Mark R. Todd reported that only the Americus Nursing Center and Midway campuses have new resident cases for that week.
“We are disappointed that the Nursing Center’s ten-week streak of no new cases has been broken, but that is the nature of this virus: just when you think you have it beaten, another new case appears,” Todd wrote in the report. “We are now seeing that a person can test positive again, weeks after recovering and receiving multiple negative tests. So, we must all continue to be vigilant and continue to use precautions to protect each other.”
Todd mentioned that the Governor has extended the shelter in place order through Sept. 10, and the facilities planned to comply with those orders.
“Although we are concerned about the toll this is taking on our residents, until the number of infections in the communities improves, this is the best course of action,” Todd wrote. “We continue to experience the direct correlation between the number of infections in our facilities and in the communities in which they are located. We need fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 in order to start reopening after the Governor’s Executive Order is lifted. Unfortunately, none of the counties in which we have facilities show numbers that good.”
Mitchell said letters were sent to all responsible parties and residents. And that the responsible party for any resident that tests positive for COVID are notified by facility staff. Residents are notified daily of any new positive residents or employees. “We have sufficient staff to care for the residents at Midway and are utilizing emergency staffing from the state, temporary staffing agencies and are actively recruiting and hiring employees,” she said.