Update: 3 residents at area nursing homes test positive for COVID-19

Jonathan Roberts • Updated Apr 27, 2020 at 4:13 PM

Three residents at two area nursing homes have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to press releases issued Monday from the facilities.

Two residents at Agape Nursing and Rehabilitation, 505 N. Roan St., and one at Elizabethton’s Ivy Hall, 301 S. Watauga Ave., were in “strict isolation” and were not showing symptoms. The three patients were also retested with the state lab to confirm the diagnosis, with results expected back later Monday.

“(W)e learned on April 25th (Saturday) that we had two residents with no signs or symptoms test positive for COVID-19,” a statement from Agape read. “These patients were retested with the state health lab for confirmation and we are awaiting the results.”

The facility tested all staff and patients “out of an abundance of caution.” Agape Executive Director Lori Goodman said about 180 patients and staff were tested, resulting in no new positives. Going forward, Goodman said Agape will be periodically testing 100% of patients and staff to identify any infections, including those in asymptomatic people. 

“Our prayers are for no infections at all,” a statement from Agape read. “Our strategy is to recognize infection quickly if it does occur and, as such, mitigate the opportunity for infection to spread.” 

Ivy Hall also learned of its case on Saturday.

“We have retested the resident with the state lab to confirm if the resident has COVID-19,” a statement from the Elizabethton facility read. “Currently, we are awaiting results of this second test. This patient is being treated and is in strict isolation. So far, this patient has shown no signs or symptoms of illness. At this time, no other resident has tested positive.”

For Ivy Hall, this marked the fourth case of COVID-19 inside that facility. On Friday, the nursing home reported three staff members had tested positive for the virus. Cornerstone Village, 2012 Sherwood Drive, Johnson City, reported cases that same day.

As of Friday, there were 478 cases of COVID-19 at long-term care facilities across the state, resulting in 44 deaths. In a statement issued that same day, Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said the data “give a clear picture on the risks that the virus poses to long-term care facilities.”

“We take our duties to protect both public health and patient privacy very seriously,” the statement read.

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