Macon County Public Health has identified an outbreak of COVID-19 at a congregate living facility in Franklin.
Four individuals at Drake Cottage tested positive and are now isolated and doing well, according to the health department.
All the residents and staff at Drake Cottage were tested at the direction of the health department and Drake Cottage. The health department said it planned to test everyone at the facility again during the week.
“Drake Cottage has the necessary PPE, sanitizing and monitoring supplies to lessen the possibility of further spread, according to Emily Ritter, the health department’s communications officer. She added that they are working to identify any close contacts of those who tested positive.
The county saw its third death related to COVID-19 less than a week after a second death was reported. The third death involved a patient over 65 with underlying health conditions.
“With our second and third deaths occurring within a week of each other, our urgent message to the community continues to be: Wear a mask, wash your hands and wait six feet from others,” said Kathy McGaha, director of Macon County Public Health. “Continue to practice social distancing and limit your trips outside your home to help slow the spread of COVID-19.”
As of Aug. 4, there is one COVID-19 patient hospitalized at Angel Medical Center, according to Nancy Lindell, a spokeswoman for Mission/HCA, Angel’s parent company.
The health department reported 460 total cases, including 70 active positive, 387 recovered and three deaths as of Aug. 3. The July 31 report identified 456 cases with 74 active positive, 379 recovered.
The outbreak at Drake Cottage is not considered a cluster because only four people tested positive. Three clusters have been identified in Macon County during the pandemic – seven members of a church in May, six cases at a construction company in June and nine at a farm.
Local health officials urged community members to strictly follow the governor’s orders and continue to practice social distancing, as well as safe hygiene measures such as hand washing and frequently cleaning touched objects and surfaces.
Symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, other lower respiratory illness (shortness of breath). If you believe that you may have COVID-19, call the health department at 828-349-2517. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.