Two Life Care Center of Cleveland employees have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Jimmy Dale, executive director of the local long-term care facility.
Dale told the Cleveland Daily Banner the two employees contracted COVID-19 outside of the facility and have not had contact with any residents.
Dale issued a statement Saturday in response to an inquiry by the Banner which learned of the unconfirmed test results on Friday.
He said neither associate is involved with direct resident care.
Dale said when Life Care received the notification, it notified the Tennessee Department of Health and started the process of contacting every resident, resident family member and staff member, to inform them of the positive test.
"At this point, no resident or other associate in our building has tested positive for COVID-19," Dale said. "We are conducting weekly tests for associates. In our most recent weekly testing, all associates came back negative, except for the two."
He said both associates who tested positive are recovering at home and will not return to work until the Centers of Disease Control’s guidelines for returning to work after COVID-19 have been met.
Dale said Life Care understands the virus is still a very real problem and will remain vigilant.
"Our residents are also monitored multiple times day and night for any symptoms or concerns," he said. "And every associate is also screened when they arrive for work and at the end of their shift, including checking temperature, to ensure no additional sickness is brought into our building."
He said Life Care will continue to follow all Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the CDC and state and local health department guidelines concerning COVID-19.
"These guidelines include restrictions on the entrance of visitors, family members and vendors," Dale said. "Signage with information on COVID-19 and details about these restrictions is posted on our doors."
Although visitation remains restricted, Dale said Life Care is "happy to coordinate phone calls, video chats or window visits."
"We are staying in consistent communication with the families of our residents, and we always welcome their questions and contact," he said.
He said Life Care will continue to work in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health and the Bradley County Health Department and the local health department, and will follow the guidance they provide.
"We appreciate their continued support, as well as the support of the Cleveland community," Dale said.