3 residents of Macclenny nursing home test positive for COVID-19

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By Corley Peel, WJXT 4 March 24 2020

MACCLENNY, Fla. – All three COVID-19 patients in Baker County are residents of Macclenny Nursing and Rehab Center, according to the center and the Florida Department of Health.

The state Department of Health data shows the three people in Baker County who tested positive for the coronavirus are an 87-year-old woman, a 76-year-old man and a 66-year-old man. The cases were not travel related.

In a statement Monday to News4Jax, Macclenny Nursing and Rehab Center said the three residents were transferred to a hospital for further care and treatment.

“Our thoughts remain with those residents and their loved ones at this challenging time,” the center said in the statement.

The center went on to say it remains focused on taking every precaution to minimize the spread of the virus to residents and staff.

“Our team of dedicated health care professionals continue to monitor every resident, have on-going communications with the local health department and state agencies, and are taking every effort necessary in an attempt to minimize the spread of this dangerous virus. This includes restricting visitors, having our health care team don masks and use gloves in accordance with regulatory guidance. We also continue to follow CDC guidelines and adhere to all protocols for pre-screening residents prior to any admission, infection control techniques and personal protective equipment recommendations,” the center said. “We continue working in conjunction with all appropriate authorities, we are doing everything we can to minimize the risk of exposure to all of our residents and our staff and will continue to take every effort necessary until the coronavirus threat has subsided.”

Through the glass window is now the only way Billy Thornton’s family is able to see his mother at Macclenny Nursing and Rehab Center.

“My mom has had some serious health issues over the last year in 2019 and some of those underlying conditions that she has makes her a candidate or a risk to contract the virus, so it’s very alarming,” Thornton told News4Jax on Monday.

A woman who lives at Macclenny Nursing and Rehab Center also spoke with News4Jax. The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she is high risk.

“I guess as long as I stay in my bedroom and do what they tell me to do I should be OK,” she said.

The woman said residents aren’t allowed to leave their rooms.

“They’re taking care of us and making sure that we’re not getting out of our rooms and associating with any other patients in case anybody else comes up with it, and they’re feeding us and bathing us and giving us our medicine,” she said.

Despite the confirmed COVID-19 cases at the center, Thornton said that he feels his mother is in good hands.

“I feel like her being in quarantine right now, her being in the nursing home, she is probably a little bit safer than she would be out of the nursing home,” he said.

Thornton said he hopes he can see his mother without a glass window between them soon.

According to the most recent state numbers, a total of 34 residents in Florida’s long-term care facilities have tested positive, including 14 people in long-term care facilities in Duval County. Camellia at Deerwood on the city’s Southside confirmed that at least seven of its residents have tested positive for the coronavirus.