Contact: Steve Vinson, Senior VP for Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2020
Magnolia Manor COVID-19 update
Magnolia Manor Home Office, Americus, GA, April 29, 2020 – Magnolia Manor President and CEO Mark R. Todd announced that the Americus Nursing Center has identified only four new COVID-19 resident cases in the past week, all of whom were previously awaiting test results. Currently, eleven residents are receiving care onsite in the facility isolation unit, and four are in the hospital. Thankfully, there have been no additional deaths. Tests are pending for three residents who are roommates of individuals who tested positive. “I am sorry to report that eighteen Nursing Center employees have contracted COVID-19 since we began tracking, but some have already begun to return to work,” said Todd.
“As I have said each week, symptomatic residents continue to be isolated from the rest of our population, and employees remain off duty until receiving a confirmed negative test report. It is encouraging to see both residents and employees beat the virus, and we trust this is just the beginning of a positive trend.”
“However, we will continue testing when there is a possible exposure, or if symptoms appear,” said Todd. “Our strategy throughout this experience has been to exercise an abundance of caution, and we will continue to follow the guidelines issued by state and federal health officials for as long as necessary.”
Over 1,000 Magnolia Manor employees serve almost 1,500 older adults in two dozen programs on nine campuses throughout southern Georgia. No other Magnolia Manor facilities have positive cases among residents. Only employees at the Americus Nursing Center, the Americus Retirement Center, Magnolia Manor of Marion County and one building in Columbus have tested positive for the virus.
Todd also provided an update on the Americus Nursing Center renovation project that has been underway for more than a year. The renovated Unit 5 with its private rooms has now been approved for occupancy. COO Hill Fort and his team are creating a plan to transfer residents from Unit 1 to the new space.
Todd indicated that National Guard troops will be asked to return to the facility to test all Unit 1 residents. “Our goal is to test every resident and employee in this building,” said Todd. “And it is very likely we will get a spike in positive results even without symptoms because of the increased testing,” said Todd. Those who test positive will be moved to the isolation area on Unit 6, and those with negative results will move to the renovated Unit 5.
Once residents are relocated, the National Guard will be invited to disinfect the entire unit again before contractor Piedmont Construction begins the next phase of renovation. “We look forward to the completion of this $16 million project so our residents can have an even better place to live,” stated Todd. “It will also give us more flexibility for future needs.”
“And hopefully, one day soon this virus will go away and life can get back to whatever the new normal will look like.”
Todd expressed gratitude to everyone who has helped during this crisis. “I can’t thank our staff enough. They have been absolutely amazing,” he said. “The way they care for our residents is really heartwarming and inspiring. They are so patient, kind and understanding.”
He also praised Piedmont Construction for rushing their deadlines during the pandemic. “They’re great partners that we have worked with on multiple projects.”
Other relationships have also been proven valuable during this crisis. Todd indicated, “Parker’s Heating and Air Conditioning who services all of our HVAC systems provided lunch for all of our daytime staff in the Nursing Center on Monday.” The Sumter County Chamber of Commerce and Magnolia Manor business partner RDG Planning & Design, the architectural firm working on a new campus in Columbus, have also provided food for employees. “The support we have received has been overwhelming,” remarked Todd. “People just call out of the blue and offer to help.”
Other assistance included donations and discounts from numerous partners. Among them is TIS, the Manor’s insurance agent, who helped secure an additional 350 PPE masks to protect staff. The United Methodist Association, of which Magnolia Manor is a member, sourced 1,000 protective gowns. “Thanks to these folks and others, we think we are in pretty good shape right now for PPE,” said Todd.
“Of course, everyone who has provided contributions of cash can’t be ignored. Individuals, churches and companies have been incredibly generous. I’m not even sure at this point how much this pandemic is going to hurt us because of increased expenses and lost revenue. But I know that every donation makes a difference, no matter how large or small.”
Visit Magnolia Manor online at www.magnoliamanor.com for updates on the fight against COVID-19, including whether there have been changes in the number of cases among residents or staff.
Headquartered in Americus, Georgia, Magnolia Manor is a faith-based, tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization affiliated by covenant with the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Magnolia Manor was established in 1959 and serves more than 1,500 senior adults daily throughout South Georgia. Services at our nine locations are open to all persons, regardless of denominational affiliation. We provide various levels of care, including Independent Living, Catered Care, Personal Care, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, Rehabilitative Therapy and specialized Memory Care.
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