16th death at Arbor Terrace, 83-year-old grandmother dies of COVID-19

Another metro Atlanta family mourns after their loved one dies from COVID-19, bringing the total number of residents to die from Arbor Terrace to 16.

The family of 83-year-old Joeann Snead had planned to talk to FOX 5's Aungelique Proctor about their mother's month-long battle with the novel coronavirus. Catolyn Merriweather called FOX 5 News Tuesday morning to cancel the interview because doctors at Emory Midtown Hospital had just called to say Ms. Snead passed away.

Ms. Merriweather said she had just moved her mother to Arbor Terrace on March 9 and the assisted living facility stopped family visitation three days later. She said she received a call from Arbor Terrace on March 24 telling her to come to pick her mom up and take her to the hospital because she was having a "seizure". Ms. Merriweather sent her pregnant daughter to the facility to pick up her mother and had no idea her mom was COVID-19 positive.

Once Mrs. Snead went into the hospital, she never came out. She was on a ventilator for a couple of weeks but showed no improvement. She finally died of the deadly virus on April 21.

The sobering news was another jolt to Fulton County Commissioner Marvin Arrington Jr., who had just held a news conference this past Friday in an effort to stop further deaths at the senior living facility.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Ms. Snead and all of the families who have lost loved ones to COVID19. We are saddened, but we must quicken our resolve to do everything we can to stop the spread of the disease," Arrington said Tuesday.

Arrington and several other elected officials had asked that the facility close down or at least move out those residents who have tested positive. Many families who did not want to reveal their names and still have relatives at the facility said they would prefer that their relatives remain there and added that many are so medically and psychologically fragile, they would not survive another transfer.

Commissioner Arrington said what he needs now from the Governor is funding. He estimates $3.5 million is needed to get ten testing sites up and running in Fulton county, particularly in the African American community which has been disproportionately affected by the deadly virus.

We are still waiting to hear back from the governor's office about what plans they have for testing. Mr. Kemp made national headlines will he announced he will begin reopening businesses as early as Friday of this week.