Another Robertson County long-term care facility has been hit with a COVID-19 outbreak.
White House Health Care & Rehabilitation had 30 total coronavirus cases as of Friday, July 10, according to data released by the Tennessee Dept. of Health.
Of the 30 cases, 12 are residents and 18 are staff. Two residents have died and seven have recovered.
State contact tracers determined that the outbreak began with a patient who was received from the hospital after testing negative in early June. The man, who returned to the hospital within one week and later died there due to complications of COVID-19, was the among the first new residents White House had admitted since mid-March.
The other resident who died was over age 90. Both had comorbidities that likely hurt their chances to survive the virus.
“It’s sad. We remained COVID-free for months,” White House Health Care owner Sonya Kemp told The Connection. “As our state and nation reopened, there was some risk even though we did testing prior to (patient) admission. The patient converted and developed symptoms in less than a week.
“If we were going to continue to open back up and admit and serve (residents), (the outbreak) was unavoidable. The only way we could have prevented it was to not admit anyone.”
The facility’s employees have fared better. Kemp said infected staff members have been “essentially symptom-free” and that none have required medical attention. Some have already returned to work.
“We were quite shocked to hear that they were positive (for COVID-19),” Kemp said. “But they have been kept out of work for the required quarantine period.”
White House Health Care has not been forced to outsource any work even as many of its employees were forced to stay home. Kemp has strung together enough help to keep operations going.
“It has been extremely difficult,” she said. “We have a great team (that has) pulled together, and we prepared as much as we could by cross-training many of our staff and also having a pretty significant pool of part-time workers.”
The facility, located at 2871 Highway 31 West in White House, sits on the line between Robertson and Sumner counties. It has a resident census of 52 and opened in 2013.
White House Health Care is the second long-term facility in Robertson to experience a virus outbreak. Springfield Heights Assisted Living has totaled 32 cases (21 residents and 11 staff) and six resident deaths. The other 15 residents have recovered.
Kemp said she is hopeful that the worst days are over for her facility. Most residents and staff have recovered, and many residents that were hospitalized responded well to dexamethasone and plasma treatments.
“We feel like we are past the worst of this and that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “We feel like our community is a reflection of what is going on in the (outside) community.
“As the requirements eased a little and as we were reopening, we saw a resurgence (of the virus) in healthy people like our employees. Even though we’ve had some residents that tested positive, they seem to be doing well with treatment.”