GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Dozens of residents were moved from the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing after multiple people tested positive for the Coronavirus Friday. Since then, a total of 92 residents and staff have tested positive for the virus and a second person has died.
The first resident died Saturday while in the hospital. The second resident died Sunday after testing positive for COVID-19, according to family members.
Family members tell NewsChannel 5 the woman, identified as 89-year-old Ruth George Summers, was one of the first residents at the facility to test positive for the virus.
National Gurad members conducted mass testing of all people in the facility. According to state officials, 59 more residents and 33 more staff tested positive for COVID-19. It took five hours to transport the 59 residents.
It took a total of 54 ambulances, two EMS buses and one wheel chair van was used to transport all patients to Sumner Regional Medical Center Sunday afternoon.
BREAKING: Here comes the cavalry. 10 ambulances have arrived at the Gallatin Center to transport patients testing positive for #COVID19 to Sumner Regional Medical Center. @nc5 pic.twitter.com/XYi6voa7UE
— Chris Davis (@ChrisDavisMMJ) March 29, 2020
"All positive employees will be treated and will only return to work after being clinically approved," said Cochran. "It’s a nasty virus and we’re working to take care of our patients, and that’s the most important thing for us."
Cochran said all families of patients being moved would be notified.
When asked if there was a plan to shut down the facility at any point Cochran responded saying, "We are fully prepared to keep the patients that test negative and all of our employees that test negative, and we have a full staff that will be coming in to relieve those that have to leave."
Sumner County officials held a press conference Sunday evening about facility and the county as a whole. They said within fourteen days the county's number of confirmed COVID-19 case number has gone from one to a total of 179.
"I'm begging you. I am pleading. I am asking that you stay home if at all possible. Keep your loved ones safe. This is serious. Sumner County is in a state of emergency now. I have issued a "stay at home" order, but people are apparently not listening and many more people are going to be in danger if we - all of us - don't take that notice seriously," said Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt.
Holt wasn't the only official to urge residents to stay home. Sumner County EMS Chief Greg Miller said it is critical to the health and safety of everyone to do so.
"We’re going to experience more numbers. We’re going to experience more deaths. You’ve heard the term, “flatten the curve.” We can’t flatten the curve unless everyone participates in the flattening."
Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown agreed, asking for people to stay home but also asking the community to remember the workers on the front lines as well as those hurting during the pandemic.
"...One of the most horrendous situations imaginable has befallen our community. This is tragic and the people in our community are hurting for these patients and their families."
Officials said they expect to see more positive cases throughout the county in the coming days as tests are still pending.