FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2020
Magnolia Manor Reports More Positive Cases
Magnolia Manor Corporate Office, Americus, GA, April 9, 2020 -
Despite extensive measures taken to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into their facilities, Magnolia Manor President and CEO Mark R. Todd reported today that the Americus Nursing Center has seven confirmed cases among residents. Three are being cared for at the Manor in a special isolation unit. One of the three is the organization’s original COVID-19 patient who has recovered and was discharged from the hospital. The other four are hospitalized at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center.
The Nursing Center also has three presumptive cases who are being monitored in self-isolation. Todd reported that while their problems could be nothing more than the common cold, “we are treating them as if they are infected.”
Sadly, one former resident who previously tested positive has died after being transferred to a hospital out of the area. “We still feel the pain of that loss, even if they had been discharged from our care,” said Todd.
No other campuses have any identified coronavirus-infected residents at this time, and no test results are pending. Medical staff are monitoring residents daily for any symptoms that could be early indicators of infection. Tests will be administered as warranted.
Nine Americus Nursing Center staff have also tested positive, as have two employees at the campus Retirement Center. In addition, two staff at the Columbus nursing center have tested positive for COVID-19. It is assumed they are victims of community spread.
Magnolia Manor employs more than 1,000 people in nine locations. Currently, sixteen staff at three campuses are self-isolating as a precaution. Some have minor symptoms that could be as simple as allergies. Others may have been in a group setting and are self-isolating out of an abundance of caution. Still others may have had contact with someone outside our facilities who was symptomatic. All are being monitored closely. None are working until they are determined to be virus-free.
Todd announced the organization will update these statistics each Wednesday on its website, social media and via press releases.
Todd also indicated that he welcomes the Governor’s decision to send National Guard troops into all nursing homes across the state to help with infection control, even if they have no active cases of coronavirus. Troops are already scheduled to help at the Marion County and Columbus campuses as a precaution. “Their expertise and assistance will be valuable prevention assets,” offered Todd.
He said, “Everyone is working hard to stop the virus. One of our biggest challenges right now is the delay between testing and getting results, so we are taking extra steps to protect our residents and staff. For instance, even before others were doing it, our staff began wearing masks to protect themselves, residents and their coworkers.”
Chief Operating Officer Hill Fort said, “Because scientists’ understanding of the virus is changing so rapidly, Magnolia Manor is constantly updating our infection control procedures based on the latest expert advice from federal, state and local officials. We are having almost daily conversations to keep up with the changes.”
“I am so proud of our team! The way they care for our residents is really inspiring: It restores your faith in humanity. Sure, there are those who have buckled under the stress, and that puts an extra burden on those who remain committed. But we have a core group of staff who always just keep smiling, and seem to find a way to make everybody else smile. I know they are afraid and have family they worry about, but you would never know it. They are so professional in spite of the terrible burden they carry.”
Magnolia Manor is passionately committed to excellence and has been nationally recognized more than a dozen times for quality performance. This commitment led staff to implement containment measures well before the virus was recognized as a local threat.
Todd and Fort began educating staff on the risks in February. Immediately thereafter, they activated an emergency response plan. Since that time, the organization has been in constant communication with state and national authorities, including the Georgia Department of Public Health, CMS and the CDC.
Numerous best practices have been introduced to protect residents. Last month Magnolia Manor implemented stringent hand washing, cleaning and disinfecting procedures and strict adherence to social distancing. All group activities were cancelled, including congregate meals and worship. All campuses were closed to visitors. Residents are actively screened by medical staff for fever and respiratory symptoms. Employees are also screened daily for symptoms and asked to identify whether they might have had any COVID-19 exposure. If so, they are instructed to go home and self-quarantine.
“Again, I am so proud of our staff,” said Fort. “They make incredible sacrifices every day to care for our residents. They really are heroes, even though they don’t think of themselves that way.
Todd added, “And our residents are also heroes. They are amazingly patient and resilient. They just take everything in stride without complaining. Most of their families are also understanding, but some, of course, are not. They really make it harder for us to do our job.”
“As a faith-based organization, Easter is a special time for us. We are really sad that families are not able to visit this year, but we have to do all we can to protect everyone. Our residents may not be able to participate in family gatherings, but I hope people will take time to call and send cards and letters. Our residents would love to hear from them!”
Todd indicated that donations through the organization’s charitable arm, The League of the Good Samaritan, are urgently needed to offset the significant expenses associated with addressing the pandemic.
“Whatever it takes: That’s our motto right now. We’re going to do everything we can to do what is right for our residents and staff.”
Donations can be made by check, or by credit card on the organization’s website at https://www.magnoliamanor.com/donate/.
“We will continue to communicate as we are able. Meanwhile, we really appreciate your prayers and understanding during this difficult time,” said Todd.
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.