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Contact: Steve Vinson, Senior VP for Communications, Emeritas
Telephone: 229.931.5925
Cell: 662.891.3236
Email: svinson@magnoliamanor.com
Website: www.magnoliamanor.com

August 26, 2020

Magnolia Manor COVID-19 update

Magnolia Manor Home Office, Americus, GA, August 26, 2020Magnolia Manor President and CEO Mark R. Todd reported that only the Americus Nursing Center and Midway campuses have new resident cases this week.

“It’s discouraging to see any new cases. We have worked hard to stop new infections across our organization, but this virus continues to prove it will not go away anytime soon.”

“We are thankful that, although our Midway campus has been hit so hard, they now report twenty-eight residents have recovered and tested negative. We also anticipate that a number of others who have remained asymptomatic will be added to this list in the next few days as they pass the ten-day window without showing symptoms.”

“This campus has been affected more than any other Magnolia Manor facility. We operate more than two dozen programs on nine campuses. As we have conducted a root cause analysis, we continue to learn new ways to help Midway and our other campuses. For instance, we know from experience that there is a direct correlation between the number of cases in the community and the number in our facility. We also know that the stealthy nature of the virus means that it is already spreading rapidly in a facility before anyone knows it’s there. These are certainly two factors that have contributed to the number of cases on this campus.”

“We also believe there are other factors, so we will continue to study and learn so we can help ourselves be better, and share the information with others.”

“When we acquired the Midway campus only nine months ago, we knew there were a number of issues we’d have to address. We immediately and systematically began to implement a multi-year plan to bring the entire operation up to Magnolia Manor standards. The building needed extensive renovations, so we began spending as much as $4 million to repair the roof and renovate resident living space.”

“When the virus hit, one wing was being renovated, so we didn’t have space to create the kind of isolation wards we have on other campuses. Instead, we contacted other organizations and sent thirteen residents to live there to limit their exposure to the virus. As it turned out, a number of them had already been exposed even though they were asymptomatic. The fact that a significant number of infected persons across our organization and others like ours don’t show symptoms is a huge reason the virus spreads so quickly.”

“After acquiring the Midway campus, we also immediately began training staff on our culture of excellence so they could join us in making a difference in the lives of those we serve. But we also wanted to make a difference in the lives of our employees—those who work with us in this ministry. We have worked really hard at that.”

“We are already doing all within our power, but I still lie awake at night thinking about what else we might do to help our residents and staff. We understand that employees don’t want to work with virus cases, even with the required PPE. We follow all guidelines from the CDC and CMS as well as state authorities. We conduct temperature checks and screening of residents and staff. Despite these measures, some employees, afraid for their own safety and that of their families, didn’t report for duty. We declared a state of emergency and asked for staffing assistance from the state. We also have paid a premium for contract nurses and CNAs to make sure we have adequate staffing, and we instituted hazard pay scales to incentivize employees who have stayed and fought with us.”

“As we have found on other campuses, testing is the key to slowing the virus spread. At first, there simply were not enough tests readily available. Since we began privately sourcing other tests, we have been making progress in slowing the spread. Testing is the key to identifying infected residents and employees who have no symptoms.”

“Many of our residents have co-morbidity or mental health issues that caused them to be turned down for admission to other facilities. We serve them because it’s our mission—to serve ALL. In some cases, physical, emotional or mental health issues mean residents are limited in their ability to participate in wellness activities that would otherwise limit the spread of the virus. We are still going to serve them because we know we can make a difference in their lives.”

“It’s discouraging that COVID has interfered so much with our original plans. Residents deserve the best we have to offer, and so do our staff. But we are here to stay, so we will overcome this virus and see our vision for Midway fulfilled. I look forward to the day when this is all behind us. We will host an open house so you can see for yourself the quality care and facilities that are the hallmarks of Magnolia Manor.”

Through Magnolia Manor’s regular testing of its more than 1,000 staff, only two employees tested positive for COVID this week. They were at the Columbus West and St. Simons Assisted Living campuses.

The Americus Nursing Center reports two COVID-positive residents are receiving care in-house, and none are hospitalized with the virus. Thirty-four residents have recovered. Sadly, eight have passed away during this pandemic.

The Americus Retirement Center and the Mattie Marshall Memory Care program in Americus continue to report no new resident or employee cases.

The Columbus East campus again reported no new resident or employee cases this week. Thirty-three residents have recovered, and eight have passed away from the virus.

At Columbus West, there have been six resident cases since the pandemic began. Two are still receiving care in-house, two have recovered and two have passed away. One employee tested positive in the past seven days.

At the Columbus Assisted Living program, there have been no new cases reported this week among either residents or employees.

Magnolia Manor’s Marion County campus once again reports no new resident or employee cases. Sixteen residents have recovered, and there are no positive cases receiving care in-house or in the hospital. Since the outbreak hit the facility, Magnolia Manor reports the campus has experienced three deaths.

Magnolia Manor South in Moultrie once again reports no new campus resident or employee cases. Seven residents previously tested positive. All were asymptomatic, and all have recovered.

Magnolia Manor on the Coast in Richmond Hill also continues to report no new resident or employee cases. Previously, one resident and two employees tested positive.

The St. Simons Nursing Center identified no new resident cases this week. Only four residents are receiving care in-house, and three are hospitalized. Twenty residents have now recovered. Unfortunately, fourteen have passed away because of COVID-19. No new employee cases were identified through testing.

The St. Simons Assisted Living program reports no new positive resident cases this week, but one new employee tested positive. No residents are receiving care in-house, and one is hospitalized. One resident has recovered; and sadly, one has passed away.

Magnolia Manor of St. Marys continues to report no new resident or employee cases.

The Midway campus in Liberty County reports seven new resident cases this week. Fifty are receiving care in-house, and only one is hospitalized. As indicated, twenty-eight have recovered, but ten have passed away. No new employees tested positive this week.

Magnolia Manor’s Macon campus has again reported no new resident or employee cases.

The organization has regularly reported that any staff with symptoms are placed on leave and must be cleared before returning to work. Residents testing positive receive care on campus with separation from other residents to help control the spread. Strict infection control protocols are utilized across the organization, including the use of PPE.

Magnolia Manor continues to follow all guidelines recommended by the CDC, CMS and the Georgia Department of Public Health.

As a 501(c)(3) faith-based nonprofit, Magnolia Manor welcomes donations, which are tax deductible as allowed by law.

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 employs almost 1,000 staff who serve about 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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