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Florence Hand tops 90 cases, new case rate appears to decline in Troup overall

Over the last few weeks, Troup County has seen its number of new COVID-19 cases per day decrease from the spike in June.

However, that changed Tuesday when the Georgia Department of Public Health daily report showed 65 new cases in Troup County, including two more deaths.

An additional nursing home in the area has also seen a rise in cases over the last few weeks. 

Florence Hand Home, a nursing home within Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center, has 90 cumulative cases of COVID-19 between its residents and staff, according to data from the Georgia Department of Community Health. 

As of July 20, the facility reported 62 positive residents and 30 positive staff to the DCH. One resident has recovered, while 13 have died. The data also lists Florence Hand Home’s resident census at 98.

“Wellstar can confirm that we are screening, testing, and treating residents diagnosed with COVID-19 at Florence Hand Home, but out of respect for our patients and privacy laws, we cannot comment on patient-related specifics such as the number of residents being treated, or the condition of patients. Please continue to direct your questions about presumed and confirmed cases to public health authorities,” wrote WellStar in a statement Tuesday evening.

“The safety of our patients and team members continues to be our highest priority. We are continuing to work closely with public health authorities to ensure the health and safety of everyone we serve during the evolving situation with COVID-19 in Georgia. Our infection prevention protocols are based on guidelines from the CDC and public health authorities, and are updated to reflect current recommendations as they evolve. We are regularly screening and testing our residents and staff. Any residents who test positive for COVID-19 are moved to a specific, contained COVID unit for care. Symptomatic staff are not allowed entry into the building and are required to get tested. All staff must be screened for symptoms prior to entering patient care areas and are required to wear a mask. We continue to actively monitor and manage our staffing levels, capacity, and supply chain at Florence Hand Home and across our system to make sure we have adequate, continued access to the resources needed for our team to safely care for patients.”

LaGrange Nursing and Rehab has also been hit hard by COVID-19. According to the latest long-term facility report from GDCH, the facility has 66 COVID-19 positive residents and 23 positive staff members. Twenty residents have died and 40 have recovered.

Twin Fountains Home has had one resident death, according to GDCH. Six residents at Twin Fountains have tested positive, as have eight staff members. 

Suites at Poplar Creek has had two positive residents, and one has recovered. Two staff members have had COVID-19, according to GDCH. Vernon Woods Retirement Home has had one resident test positive and two positive staff members. 

Troup County as a whole still has a high number of cumulative cases per 1,000 people, at 26.76. The New York Times lists the LaGrange area, which in this case includes the whole county, as the tenth highest in the nation for cumulative cases per 1,000. The list only includes metro areas with at least 50,000 people.

However, there are signs that the number of new cases each day have been decreasing. The NYT also lists LaGrange as third in the nation where new cases are decreasing most, according to its database update for July 21. Troup County recorded 420 new cases a few weeks ago — that number was 247 for the past week, a decrease of 247 per 100,000.

Troup County has averaged about 20 new reported cases per day since July 6, according to GDPH numbers. 

Overall, Troup County has 1,939 cumulative cases and 45 total deaths from COVID-19, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Those numbers reflect total cases since the start of the pandemic, and there is no official way to track active cases. Sixteen of the 45 deaths were people in their 80s and five were in their 90s. 

Nine people in their 70s have died, six in their 60s and five in their 50s. Two people in their 30s have died.

Twenty-six of the 45 deaths have been in people who classify their race as Black, and eighteen have been White. One person had an unknown race, according to DGPH.

Thirty-one females in Troup County have died from COVID-19 and 13 males. 

One person who died has their gender classified as unknown by GDPH. The Troup County Jail also released its updated COVID-19 update on Tuesday. 

For the second straight week, the Troup County Sheriff’s Office reported that there were no known COVID-19 cases at the jail.