Nursing home death

NHC Hendersonville reported the city's first death at a long-term care facility due to COVID-19 last week. TENA LEE

A Hendersonville nursing home last week became the county’s third long-term care facility to report a patient death related to COVID-19.

NHC Healthcare on Old Shackle Island Road reported the death to the Tennessee Department of Health on July 23, according to Department of Health Communications Director Shelley Walker.

There have been 68 deaths related to COVID-19 in Sumner County. The county has the third-highest death toll in the state behind Shelby and Davidson counties. While both of those counties provide demographics of coronavirus-related fatalities by age, race, sex and risk category, that information is not available for Sumner County.

Some states also track the number of deaths by zip code. Tennessee provides only the number of COVID-19 positive cases and deaths by county.

In Sumner County the only demographic publicly available for COVID-19 deaths is deaths that occur in long-term care facilities.

Tennessee has required all long-term care facilities with two or more COVID-19 cases to report them. The state has made that information, as well as the number of deaths at a facility, available on the Tennessee Department of Health’s website since mid-April.

Statewide, a total of 113 long-term care facilities are currently listed as having two or more positive coronavirus cases. Of the facilities’ 10,784 total residents, 1,049 have tested positive; 190 have died and 414 have recovered. A total of 799 staff members have tested positive at the 113 facilities, according to Tennessee Department of Health data.

The list includes five Sumner County long-term care facilities and accounts for 30 of Sumner’s 68 COVID-19 deaths. The facilities are:

  • · The Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing has reported 25 deaths; 99 residents have tested positive for COVID-19; 55 residents have recovered and 69 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. The facility has 173 residents.
  • · NHC Place in Gallatin has reported four deaths; eight residents have tested positive for the virus; four have recovered and nine staff members have tested positive. The facility has 77 residents.
  • · At Signature Health of Portland Rehab and Wellness Center, one resident and four staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. None have recovered. The facility has 87 residents.
  • · At Westmoreland Care and Rehabilitation Center, 10 residents and 12 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. None have recovered. The facility has 98 residents.
  • · NHC Healthcare on Old Shackle Island Road. The facility has 95 residents. Nine have tested positive for COVID-19; one has recovered and eight staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus. One death has been reported at the facility.

Murfreesboro-based National HealthCare Corporation (NHC) operates long-term care facilities in 10 states including Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky and Georgia.

“Our team at NHC Hendersonville has done excellent work preparing for this stage in the pandemic following CDC and CMS protocols,” a spokesperson for the Hendersonville facility company said in a written statement. “Although we had no positive confirmations of COVID after our mass baseline testing in May, we anticipated a positive confirmation would eventually happen during our weekly testing of staff with the community spread increasing.”

The facility continues to follow CDC and CMS guidelines for active COVID patients using isolation droplet precautions for all active patients in transitional areas with dedicated staff, the spokesperson added.   

“As we continue to face this pandemic, our team and patients are truly touched with the outpouring of support and prayers from our families and community. We find hope in our patients and partners’ recoveries.”

Statewide there were 978 COVID-19-related deaths reported on Monday. Of those, 778 or 81 percent, were ages 61 and over.

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