NORTH METRO ATLANTA — Georgia Department of Public Health figures show there have been over 30 residents and 23 staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19 at 17 large senior care facilities in North Fulton and Forsyth County. The cumulative figures, which cover cases up to May 19, include facilities classified as nursing homes, personal care homes and assisted living communities with 25 beds or more.

Ten total deaths have been reported from local senior care centers.

Seven Forsyth County facilities have reported cases. Four centers in Alpharetta, four in Roswell, one in Johns Creek and one in Milton had also reported either staff or resident positive cases as of May 19. 

Around half of those facilities had no confirmed cases a month ago. Several of the facilities that had reported coronavirus cases among residents or staff on April 17 have not reported any additional cases.

Nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other senior care centers have been urged to take special measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among residents, who are at higher risk of serious complications of the virus. The Georgia Department of Public Health has outlined “critical” measures to protect residents and staff members, which includes restricting all visitors, cancelling communal activities and dining, social distancing and other actions. 

The guidelines also instruct all senior facilities, regardless of size, to contact the Department of Public Health for additional support if a resident or worker has tested positive for COVID-19. The agency should also be contacted if there is any case of unexplained respiratory illness, clusters of two or more people with “respiratory symptoms.”

COVID-19 has been especially deadly for seniors. As of May 20, 86 percent of the state’s 1,682 deaths attributed to the coronavirus were people 60 years old and over.

For the Georgia Department of Public Health’s daily update on coronavirus cases in senior care centers, visit dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-long-term-care-facilities.

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