Georgia’s first senior care coronavirus cases reported

A metro Atlanta assisted living facility has three residents and an employee who have tested positive for the coronavirus — a sign of the acute risks that senior care facilities face as the virus spreads across Georgia.

The Retreat at Canton confirmed that three residents and an employee have “tested presumptively positive” for COVID-19, according to a release by the facility that has 90 beds.

“All three resident are comfortable, self-isolated in their suites and remain asymptomatic at this time,” said a facility statement. “Our employee, who is also asymptomatic, is in self-isolation at their home.”

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The positive tests are the first known positive tests at a senior care facility in Georgia. The facility said the testing lab has forwarded the “presumptive positive” tests to the CDC for confirmation. The first case was identified last Thursday, the release said.

The governor and the state’s largest nursing home and assisted living trade organization, the Georgia Health Care Association, issued a public recommendation on Monday for all nursing homes, assisted living and personal care facilities to restrict visitors to essential personnel and to avoid all group activities and communal dining.

The facility, which is operated by Phoenix Senior Living based in Roswell, said the facility implemented measures a week ago to tighten safety against the virus. The measures included restricting and screening staff and visitors to the community.

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The facility said it is working to keep residents comfortable and safe.

“Our focus will continue to be on our residents and our associates, and we will exhaust all measures to ensure their safety and well-being,” said Jesse Marinko, Phoenix Senior Living CEO. “We are grateful for the expertise and guidance from The Georgia Department of Health.”

State public health officials earlier Monday reported 121 confirmed coronavirus cases in Georgia.