Putnam County long-term care facility sets up COVID-19 unit

Posted at 8:27 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 21:27:42-04

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — An additional patient has tested positive for COVID-19 at a nursing home in Putnam County, bringing the total to 45 residents and staff.

Of those 45 positive cases, 29 are residents. Signature HealthCARE administrators said only one is showing symptoms of COVID-19.

That’s a fact that’s staggering even to healthcare veterans.

"If you don't know you're positive, it might turn into a situation like this," said Lee Rooney, CEO of Signature HealthCARE. "I wouldn't wish this on anybody."

Rooney said they will finish transporting all of the positive COVID-19 patients to an isolation portion of the building by the end of Friday.

Meanwhile, the staff members who were infected will stay home and the staff still at work will have their temperature checked at the door every day.

Care providers working in the COVID-19 portion of the building will not work in any other part of the building to limit the spread of the virus.

Rooney said his crew is prepared to protect their patients during the virus.

"If it did have to happen to one facility, I know my facility is the one that can handle it," Rooney said. "I have tremendous support from my corporate office, I have a tremendous team, and we are managing as best as we can. I think we're doing everything we possibly can do."

Rooney added if a patient gets more severe than the facility can handle, the patient will be transferred to the hospital.

Now we wanted to ask the CEO a few follow up questions but he only agreed to one - if a patient gets more severe than the facility can handle, will they transfer them to the hospital?