Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, nursing homes and senior care centers have been on the frontlines in the battle to contain the disease.
A state Department of Community Health publishes daily reports on infections among nursing home residents and staff for nursing homes with 25 beds or more.
Six nursing homes in Glynn County made the list in Thursday’s report. Five of them reported only a handful of cases among residents and staff and no deaths.
The outlier is GraceMore Nursing Home on Lee Street in Brunswick, where 30 of the assisted living center’s 31 residents tested positive and three have died. None were listed as recovered in the Wednesday report.
Among the nursing home’s staff, 16 were reported as positive. Three have since recovered, according to the facility’s website.
An administrator at the nursing home did not return a request for comment by press time, but the facility’s website states it is following the requirements of the governor’s order.
Extra infection control and cleaning, a staff specialist in infection prevention, strict restrictions on visitors and regular tests of staff and residents are among the several measures GraceMore is enacting.
As of Thursday, 2,827 Georgia residents infected with COVID-19 had died. According to the community health department, 1,272, or about 45 percent, died with the disease in nursing homes. Nursing home residents account for just 7,141, or 8.5 percent, of the 84,237 reported coronavirus cases in the state of Georgia.
Also included in the report were Magnolia Manor, which had three COVID-positive staff; Sears Manor with one COVID-positive resident, since recovered; Senior Case Center of Brunswick with four positive staff; Thrive at Frederica with one positive resident; and Addington Place of Brunswick reporting one positive resident.
Nursing homes were among the first facilities to completely shut down when the disease began spreading, isolating residents in the hopes of keeping them safe from the outbreak.
One of Gov. Brian Kemp’s earliest orders was a shelter-in-place mandate for the elderly and medically fragile, which blankets most nursing home residents.
A later order called for enhanced cleaning and safety measures, including isolating possibly infected residents, screening employees and restricting in-person visits outside of end-of-life situations.
In April, he tasked the Georgia National Guard with COVID-19 infection control at facilities all around the state.