A Cherokee County nursing home is fighting a widespread outbreak of COVID-19 in which 108 of 125 residents and 36 staff were infected as of Thursday, according to Georgia Department of Community Health records.

A facility manager, Dianne Patterson, told WSB-TV on Tuesday that the outbreak may be tied to a visit of a corporate employee on Thanksgiving Day, who shortly thereafter tested positive for COVID-19. "And it only takes one (case) for it to spread like wildfire," she told the television station.

Woodstock Nursing and Rehabilitation, 105 Arnold Mill Road, Woodstock has had one death related to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus since the start of the ongoing pandemic that began last winter, state records show. Currently, infected staff are in quarantine at home and residents who are infected are in isolation within the facility, Patterson told WSB. 

Patterson told the television station the COVID-19 outbreak would delay the administering of coronavirus vaccines at the facility, which is not accepting new admissions.

Several other local nursing homes have outbreaks with 20 to 30 residents infected, while others have few or no infected residents, according to state records. The DCH publishes a daily online report on coronavirus in state elder care facilities at dch.georgia.gov.

The state is ramping up getting doses of the vaccines out to staff of elder care facilities and their residents to protect them against the virus, which has caused the death of more than 9,800 Georgians as of Thursday. Many of those deaths have occurred in elder care facilities.

The federal Food and Drug Administration has recommended that even people who have had COVID-19 be vaccinated because it is unknown how long naturally acquired immunity might last.

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Managing Editor

Gary Tanner is managing editor of The Cherokee Tribune, Cherokee Ledger-News and Cherokee Life magazine. He has been working as a journalist since 1985.

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