Three COVID-19 deaths confirmed at Putnam County nursing home

Posted at 7:13 AM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 08:20:33-04

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Three Putnam County nursing home residents have died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County confirmed the three deaths occurred at the facility and one of the patients was asymptomatic. One resident passed away on April 11, another on April 12 and the third on April 14.

“Signature HealthCARE of Putnam is deeply saddened by these 3 losses. Our residents are like family to us, and the passing of any one of them is devastating,” Signature HealthCARE said in part.

The facility said one resident, who had been in isolation, has since recovered and has received two negative tests.

Total cases as of Thursday:

  • Positive residents: 30
  • Positive residents Who Have Passed: 3
  • Positive staff: 15 staff who have tested positive will not return to work without special and verified medical clearance.

The facility said it’s working with the Cookeville and Putnam County Mayor’s offices and other city and county agencies to provide updates.

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


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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.