New confirmed COVID-19 cases in Tennessee Valley nursing homes

New confirmed COVID-19 cases in Tennessee Valley nursing homes

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - If you have a loved one in a nursing home, we have updated COVID-19 numbers inside some facilities. We also talked with a lawyer who wants Alabama’s laws changed.

Several administrators are transparent and open talking about confirmed COVID-19 cases. But not everyone is, and in Alabama they don’t have to be!

The man in charge of the Mitchell Hollingsworth Nursing home and Rehab Center Brian Scheri said Tuesday, May 26, one of his employees tested positive for COVID-19.

“As of right now, I’m proud to say, none of my residents have been affected by this. Three times a day their temperature is taken, as well as their O2 stat levels,” said Scheri.

Tomorrow, Wednesday May 27th, members of the Alabama National Guard will be at the facility to spray chemicals and clean the inside surfaces.

We also have an update from Burns Nursing home and Rehab in Russellville.

Less than two weeks ago, we told you about 48 people, 30 residents and 18 employees who had tested positive for COVID-19.

The administrator told WAFF since then, the number of infected people has slightly increased, but the number of people showing symptoms has decreased a lot.

“It’s definitely getting better we are over the hump of the infectious period of the COVID-19. We have had the CDC and the Alabama Department of Public Health come and we actually had a meeting with them Sunday,” said Cameron DeArman.

There are dozens of nursing homes across the Tennessee Valley. Nursing home administrators are required to report cases of COVID-19 to local county health departments, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nursing home administrators must also notify residents, and their families and the employees at the facility.

They don’t have to post and make the number of COVID-19 cases public knowledge for everyone to see. An Alabama attorney, Tommy James, wants to change that!

“There ought to be a balance between privacy, transparency and public health where this information should be released. Like I said there’s no reason not for it to be released,” said James.

James says more than half of the states provide information about nursing homes and the COVID-19, but Alabama is not one of them.

The director of communications for the Alabama Nursing Home Association reached out to WAFF.

“The Centers for Medicare and Medicade Services announced last month that it will publicly release data on nursing homes COVID-19 cases at the end of May,” said John Matson.

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