This Rural Nursing Home Has Lost Nearly a Quarter of Its Residents to COVID-19. Now Its State Is Reopening.

by Max Blau: For More Info, Go Here…

Of Georgia’s more than 1,100 virus deaths, 12% are from long-term care facilities in a region that holds just 3% of the population. As the state reopens, staff know that risks of exposure will only increase.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to gradually reopen the state for business was beginning to show results. More cars were on the road than the week before. Locals lined up at the drive-thru at the only McDonald’s in Dawson, a predominantly black town in one of the poorest corners of the state.

Peagler headed into Dawson Health and Rehabilitation Center, a small nursing home where 14 of the 60 or so residents had died from COVID-19 over the past month. He and his fellow soldiers conducted their mission with efficiency, quickly testing the home’s surviving residents for the coronavirus. A military medic stuck a swab into each resident’s nose, then dropped it into a vial held by another guard member, who then handed it down an assembly line of soldiers until it was placed in an ice-filled cooler.

Residents in long-term care facilities now face additional risks of exposure, as staffers circulate through environments where social distancing is decreasing. Some two dozen employees of the Dawson nursing home have already contracted the coronavirus.

In Georgia, Kemp has allowed barbers, bowling alley operators and tattoo artists to reopen their businesses. Restaurants may now resume dine-in service. Governors in Alaska, Oklahoma and South Carolina have also allowed some nonessential businesses to reopen, while their counterparts in several other states have let stay-at-home orders expire this week.

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