Georgia nursing home celebrates 92 residents recovering from COVID-19 and no new cases

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JACKSON, Ga. — While the latest numbers from the Department of Community Health show 121 residents at Westbury Medical and Rehab in Jackson have tested positive for COVID-19, with 21 residents having passed away, what the numbers don’t show is that of the remaining 100 positive cases, 92 of them have recovered from the virus, plus Westbury does not have any new cases.

Westbury patients and staff celebrated the recovery of three of their residents on May 7 with photos and signs outside the entrance, and plan a parade of families and friends of residents on May 14.

“We had a total of 121 positive, but 21 of those passed away,” said Westbury Administrator Jennifer Vasil. “Our prayers are still with the families that have lost a loved one from this vicious virus.

“Of the remaining 100, 92 residents have recovered and 8 residents remain symptomatic,” she continued. “We are doing everything in our power to assist the ones who are still sick.”

Vasil added that the residents who have recovered remain in quarantine from residents who have tested negative for the virus.

“We’ll keep it this way for a while,” she said, “mainly because there are still so many unknowns with this virus, so we want to keep our negative residents as safe as possible.”

In addition, a total of 52 staff members were tested for the virus and 32 tested positive. Of those 32, 17 have recovered and returned to work after fulfilling the CDC directives, or remain out of work.

Vasil admits the past six weeks since the virus was first found in Westbury have been tough for the residents, their families, and the staff, and having a chance to celebrate the recoveries put a smile on everyone’s faces (behind the masks).

“We celebrated recovery and victory over COVID-19 with three of our residents today,” Vasil said in a Facebook post. “We cannot wait to continue the celebration of many more residents with a parade next week!”

May 10-16 is National Skilled Nursing Care Week, and to celebrate the residents who have recovered, Westbury will be having a family and community parade for all residents on May 14.

“We ask that you decorate your vehicle with signs/posters, etc. for your loved one or decorate showing support/thanks for the facility,” Vasil wrote. “The parade will be broken up into 3 different parades depending on the hall that your loved one is on. We ask that anyone participating call the facility and speak with the Activity Director and let her know by 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13. At this time, the Activity Director will let you know what time your loved one will be outside for the parade, depending on their hall location.

“Some residents may not feel like participating, or may be unable to participate due to health concerns. If this is the case, we will let you know ahead of time if you are signed up to participate. All residents will have to wear an N95 mask in order to participate. If your loved one is unwilling to wear a mask or unable to wear one, they will be unable to participate in the parade.”

Vasil also thanked her staff for their efforts and Butts County community for their support during this crisis

“Our staff love our residents, are dedicated to the care we provide, and are true healthcare heroes,” she wrote. “Our small community of Butts County has reached out in many ways to uplift and assist as we fight this tough fight and we are endlessly thankful for the support of our local community. We truly appreciate your continued prayers, support, kind words, and thoughts as we battle this invisible virus together.”

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