Dr. Bill Johnson, chief medical officer of Tennova-Cleveland, said Thursday that he acknowledged an “uptick” in COVID-19 cases in Cleveland, but said “it’s a small one.”
Likewise, he recognized that there has also been an increase in hospitalizations. Typically, Johnson has reported around two people being hospitalized for COVID-19, but he said that has increased to five this week.
As he has done in the past, he emphasized the need to wear masks to protect others to prevent spread. He used an example that Cleveland State Community College President Dr. Bill Seymour gave during his presentation Thursday to the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club.
Seymour said that none of the 35 people tested for COVID-19 had caught the virus. Those tests were administered to individuals after a recent exposure by a student who tested positive earlier this month. Seymour attributed the prevailing number of negative tests due to the enforcement of social distancing and mask-wearing on campus.
Johnson agreed and said, “if you’re safe on [the] Cleveland State [campus], the hospital is just about the safest place in town. Everyone, every patient, doctor and employee is masked.”
Despite this, Johnson said people have put off medical procedures over fears of catching the virus at the hospital. Tennova has a designated floor for coronavirus patients to limit cross-contamination.
The total COVID-19 case count for Tennessee was 32,829, including 509 deaths, 2,209 hospitalizations and 21,949 recoveries.
As of Thursday, 305 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in 227 recoveries and two deaths, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.
While the Cleveland Daily Banner has learned of two additional COVID-19-related fatalities, they have not yet been confirmed by the TDH. Some cases are not immediately added to the fatality totals until they are reported by local health departments, as well as when death certificates are processed.
Confirmed case totals for Bradley County neighbors include:
• Grundy: 37 cases, 29 recoveries and 1 death;
• Hamilton: 1,956 cases, 908 recoveries and 22 deaths;
• Marion: 49 cases, 39 recoveries and 2 deaths;
• McMinn: 171 cases, 134 recoveries and 15 deaths;
• Meigs: 30 cases, 25 recoveries and 0 deaths;
• Monroe: 97 cases, 74 recoveries and 4 deaths;
• Polk: 32 cases, 26 recoveries and 0 deaths;
• Rhea: 243 cases, 224 recoveries and 0 deaths;
• Sequatchie: 23 cases, 19 recoveries and 0 deaths.
Counties with Tennessee's highest numbers of cases include:
• Bedford: 404 cases, 280 recoveries and 4 deaths;
• Bledsoe: 614 cases, 611 recoveries and 1 death;
• Davidson: 7,253 cases, 4,863 recoveries and 93 deaths;
• Knox: 594 cases, 408 recoveries and 5 deaths;
• Lake: 689 cases, 666 recoveries and 0 deaths;
• Montgomery: 356 cases, 147 recoveries and 5 deaths;
• Putnam: 630 cases, 492 recoveries and 6 deaths;
• Robertson: 670 cases, 400 recoveries and 9 deaths;
• Rutherford: 1,888 cases, 817 recoveries and 32 deaths;
• Shelby: 7,290 cases, 5,033 recoveries and 158 deaths;
• Sumner: 1,130 cases, 478 recoveries and 49 deaths;
• Trousdale: 1,464 cases, 1,362 recoveries and 5 deaths;
• Williamson: 742 cases, 426 recoveries and 12 deaths; and
• Wilson: 565 cases, 329 recoveries and 14 deaths.
According to Johns Hopkins University, as of Thursday evening, nearly 2.2 million individuals in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19, with 118,386 deaths and 599,115 recoveries.
Globally, 8.4 million individuals have tested positive, resulting in 453,216 deaths and more than 4 million recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins.
Gov. Bill Lee’s Unified Command Group announced Thursday that nearly all of Tennessee’s 700 long-term care facilities have completed the required COVID-19 testing of residents and staff, as part of the state’s efforts to protect the health of vulnerable populations.
“We know long-term care residents are the most vulnerable population to COVID-19, and protecting their health and safety is one of our top priorities in fighting this virus, Lee said. “That starts with testing all residents and staff to mitigate the spread of the disease within facilities. I’m grateful to our Unified Command for working with facilities across the state to make testing readily available and effective.”
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, “... 690 long-term care facilities responded to a TDH survey in late May and reported their intent to test staff and residents. Of the 690 facilities responding to the survey, 667, or 96.7 percent, have thus far completed the required COVID-19 testing for residents and staff.”
On May 26, new TDH rules required each long-term care facility in Tennessee to respond to an intent to test survey before June 1, and to complete the testing of all residents and staff by June 30.
The TDH currently has 640 staff members performing COVID-19 contact tracing activities statewide in coordination with county health departments and TDH’s central and regional offices.
“Contact tracers are critical to Tennessee’s COVID-19 response efforts in gathering information from positive cases on symptoms, health condition, and activities prior to and during diagnosis, notifying close contacts of potential exposure to positive COVID-19 cases, and communicating with positive cases and their contacts to monitor symptoms and provide support throughout the 14-day quarantine period,” Lee said.
Lee pointed out the TDH is recruiting and training an additional 650 contract tracers for its central, local, and regional health offices to augment and support this effort further.
of Cleveland 100%
Signature HealthCare announced on Thursday that its Cleveland center has received a 100% Deficiency Free Survey after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services completed its state infection control inspection of the facility earlier this month.
Ann Bowdan Wilder, media, public relations and communications manager for Signature HealthCare in Louisville, Ky., said, “Signature HealthCARE of Cleveland works diligently every day to meet or exceed the highest level of quality of care for its residents and staff and that’s exactly what a 100% Deficiency-Free Survey means.”
“The survey results show all services provided at Signature HealthCARE of Cleveland meet or exceed all state and federal standards and the overall environment of the facility is at the highest level required and, in some cases, exceeds those requirements,” Wilder said. “The CMS state surveys include interviews, observation and the review of records and policies.
Wilder said Signature HealthCARE, “... knows the importance of these critical inspections to ensure the effectiveness of our facilities’ infection prevention, medical response and proactive protocols to fight disease and illness, at any time, but especially in a COVID-19 environment.”
“Diligent and responsible CMS state surveys are welcomed by our facilities, at all times, as a way to help keep our facilities at the highest level of performance possible for our residents and community at large,” she said. “Being deficiency- free is a great accomplishment in a COVID-19 climate.”