COVID outbreak strikes NHC of McMinnville

Story courtesy of James Clark, Editor for Southern Standard

There are 15 residents and three employees of NHC HealthCare of McMinnville who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The information was released Tuesday on the NHC website. Nursing home officials declined to comment when called Tuesday.

NHC had closed its facility to visitors in mid-March in an effort to keep coronavirus out.

In a message to the community in the March 13 edition of the Standard, NHC said, “NHC HealthCare of McMinnville has not had any cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19). For the safety of our patients and caregivers who care for your loved ones, we are not accepting visitors from the community at this time. We recognize that this may be an inconvenience, however the safety of our patients and caregivers will always be our priority.”

The visitor ban remains in place and has not been lifted since it was implemented.

In a May 19 news conference, NHC administrator Ben Holland said every patient and partner at NHC McMinnville had been tested for COVID-19 and there were no positive coronavirus cases.

At that time, Holland said NHC was going to exercise extreme caution in reopening the local facility to visitors “because we have the most vulnerable population.”

The Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing is a worst-case scenario of what can happen when COVID-19 begins spreading in a long-term care facility. According to news reports, the Gallatin nursing home outbreak resulted in at least 23 deaths. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, at least 160 patients and staff at the Gallatin facility tested positive for the virus.

Warren County has 81 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, according to the Tennessee Department of Health, with 53,514 total confirmed COVID cases statewide.

In nearby communities, Rutherford County has 3,111 confirmed cases and Putnam County has 919 in numbers released Tuesday.

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