By JOHN RABY Associated Press
An outbreak of the new coronavirus at a Tennessee nursing home has forced the facility to be temporarily closed for cleaning with dozens of residents and staff members sent into quarantine, Gov. Bill Lee's office and a hospital said Sunday night.
The hospital said without elaborating that two of the residents had died.
Tests results released Sunday show 59 additional residents of the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing tested positive for the virus, while 33 members of the nursing home's staff with confirmed cases are now isolated at their homes, the governor's office said in a news release. How many total residents had tested positive wasn't immediately clear.
The facility is in Gallatin, northeast of Nashville.
Sumner Regional Medical Center said Sunday on Facebook that 42 patients from the nursing home have been admitted and are in isolation after some tested positive for the virus. It said the 59 additional residents were in the process of being transported Sunday and Monday to the hospital.
The hospital statement said a total of two of the nursing home patients have died. It did not disclose whether they had tested positive for the virus.
The state "is facilitating deep cleaning and disinfecting of the facility and providing supplemental support" for residents without the virus, the governor's office statement said.
The hospital said dozens more noncritical patients were being transported from the nursing home to three other hospitals.
"Our hearts are with the residents and their families and all of those mourning loved ones during this difficult time," the hospital said.
The nursing home said on Facebook that the cleaning of the facility would start Monday.
"Our mission since the beginning of this global pandemic has been to be as proactive as possible, and we will continue to do so to ensure your loved ones safety," the nursing home statement said.
The Tennessee Department of Health's website on Sunday listed seven deaths from the coronavirus but it wasn't known if the Sumner County deaths were among them. The website listed 1,537 confirmed cases of the virus, up 164 from Saturday.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, and the majority of people recover. But severe cases can need respirators to survive, and with infections spreading exponentially, hospitals across the country are either bracing for a coming wave of patients, or already struggling to keep up.
Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.