BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. - One of Georgia’s hardest-hit long-term living facilities, Westbury Care and Rehab, just reported another two deaths, but administrators say the work they’re doing isn’t represented in the coronavirus numbers.
"These are more than just numbers, these are lives that we've gotten close to," administrator Jennifer Vasil said.
Saying there are 31 deaths at a living facility is not the same as seeing more than nearly three dozen people lose their lives in a short period of time.
Vasil says she developed lasting relationships in her 12 years getting to know residents and their families.
"That is the hardest part about all of this," Vasil said.
The home reports 169 residents before the facility’s first positive coronavirus test.
As of Wednesday, Vasil says there are 124 residents at the home, of which, 88 have tested positive.
Any others were either discharged or passed away from something other than Covid-19, but the coronavirus death toll has risen, as the staff is now offered counseling to work through the losses.
"Tough times don’t last, but tough teams do," she said.
All residents and staff are tested each week. Vasil says that’s imperative moving forward.
"We need rapid testing at living facilities," she said.
Staff can’t work without taking a symptom questionnaire and taking their temperature.
The Georgia department of community health reports a total of 122 positive test results.
Vasil says the numbers can be confusing because that includes the total number of residents who’ve been tested since the outbreak.
It includes those who’ve passed away, been discharged, as well as those who have since recovered from the virus.
That means there have been 122 cases at Westbury since the outbreak, but it doesn't mean Westbury has that many cases right now.
Vasil says that’s what families need to hear.
"It's very difficult for them, so just trying to stay in constant contact and communication with them," Vasil said.
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