Stephens County Hospital CEO Mike Hester has reported there are 13 cases of Covid-19 at the Wilkinson and Clary centers.
Hester said, “Due to concerns about a possible exposure, we decided on Friday, April 24th, to test all residents of our Clary and Wilkinson Care Center facilities that had not already been tested for COVID-19. This decision was made after conferring with SCH administration and infection control.
The results came in late yesterday and there are 8 positive cases in Wilkinson and 5 positive cases at Clary. All 13 residents have been and remain without symptoms. We will continue to monitor them closely and will notify families immediately if that should change.
Staff will continue to wear appropriate PPE with any known positive cases. All staff will continue to wear a mask at all times when they are in either facility.
For those residents who are negative, we will have a low threshold for retesting them, if at any time they become the least bit symptomatic. We will continue to communicate the status of all testing and other pertinent information to the families of those affected should this occur.
Over a week ago, we moved to require testing in the ER of any person coming from a group living facility such as personal care homes, assisted living, skilled nursing, etc. We will continue to do this as a method of early detection. We also have been and continue to test all positive residents that are admitted to the hospital to ensure they are negative before they are allowed back to Clary or Wilkinson.
For several weeks, after recommendations from the State, we have not been accepting new residents into our facilities. We have also restricted trips out of the facilities to those that are medically necessary and only then with special precautions in place.
We have requested the National Guard to come in and assist us with our deep cleaning efforts, in addition to what we currently do. This was set in motion early last week and they will be on site Tuesday morning. We are also planning to test every employee during the first of this week in an effort to identify any other asymptomatic carriers and further mitigate as much risk to the residents as possible. This will require careful planning with the hospital, and we may have the National Guard assist us with staffing as well during this time.
All of these measures have been taken in accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Health for the State of Georgia. We ask that you remember our residents and staff in prayer as they continue to navigate through these unpredictable and unprecedented times. Please know that we take the health of your loved ones and our staff very seriously and are constantly doing everything within our power to combat this virus and minimize the risk of exposure in every single way possible."
Any questions or concerns please reach out to Hayley Knight, administrator at 706-282-5646, SCH CEO Michael Hester at 706-282-4250 or the Director of Nursing and Quality and Compliance Tonya Chitwood RNC at 706-282-4253.”