Two of the city’s long-term care facilities have seen positive cases of COVID-19 appear among both residents and staff.

Five people with Life Care Center of Tullahoma have tested positive for COVID-19, the center confirmed Friday, July 31.

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The assisted living facility announced four associates and one resident who recently returned from the hospital had tested positive for the disease.

Executive Director Kyle Chamberlain sent a statement to The News last week stating the information was forwarded to the state health department, and the facility contacted every resident, resident family member and staff member to inform them of the positive tests.

The resident came to the facility from the hospital Wednesday, July 29, and was tested for the illness Thursday, July 30, according to Chamberlain’s statement.

“We got the results back today [July 31] and learned that the resident had tested positive,” the statement said. “The resident is being cared for by dedicated associates in an isolated COVID-19 wing of our facility.”

Of the four employees who tested positive, three were asymptomatic and were expected to be fully recovered over the weekend, Chamberlain said in the statement.

“All four associates are recovering at home and will not return to work until the CDC’s guidelines for returning to work after COVID-19 have been met,” he added.

“We understand the virus is still a very real problem, and we remain vigilant,” Chamberlain said. “We are testing associates on a weekly basis, and our residents are monitored multiple times day night for any symptoms or concerns. Every associate is also screened when they arrive for work and at the end of their shift, including checking temperature, to ensure no additional sickness is brought into our building.”

The facility has and will continue to follow all CMS, CDC and state and local health department guidelines concerning COVID-19, according to the statement.

Those guidelines include restrictions on the entrance of visitors, family members and vendors. Signage with information on COVID-19 and the details about those restrictions is posted on the facility doors.

“Although visitation remains restricted, we’re happy to coordinate phone calls, video chats or window visits,” Chamberlain said in the statement. “We are staying in consistent communication with the families of our residents, and we always welcome their questions and contact.

“We continue to work in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health and the Hamilton County Health Department and the local health department and will follow the guidance they provide. We appreciate their continued support, as well as the support of the Tullahoma community.”

The News reached out to Life Care Center for an update on COVID-19 numbers at the facility but did not hear back by press time.

In addition to Life Care, Morning Pointe of Tullahoma also confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday afternoon.

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According to data from the Tennessee Department of Health, two residents and two staff members at Morning Pointe have tested positive for the virus, though Morning Pointe Senior Living would not confirm those figures to The News.

Will Brewer, the vice president of corporate communications for Morning Pointe Senior Living, released a statement to The News Monday afternoon regarding the positive cases at the facility.

“Morning Pointe Senior Living can confirm that a positive case of COVID-19 has been identified at Morning Pointe of Tullahoma,” the statement read. “Pursuant to privacy laws, no additional information will be provided regarding the individual or individuals. All residents, family members and associates at the Tullahoma community were informed of this development, and the location has implemented an elevated series of protocols aimed at infection prevention, in addition to preexisting measures.”

Exactly what those elevated measures are was not provided to The News in the statement, but they were characterized as “in accordance with the guidelines outlined by the CDC and the Tennessee Department of Health.”

“Morning Pointe’s focus is to keep residents and associates safe, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to those affected by the virus,” Brewer said in the statement.

NHC Tullahoma is still COVID-19-free, according to its website.

Erin McCullough may be reached at emccullough@tullahomanews.com.

Staff Writer

Erin McCullough has won awards for her news reporting, community lifestyles and education reporting in the three years she's been a journalist. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and currently lives in Tullahoma with her cat, Luna.

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