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New coronavirus cases at Augusta-area nursing homes



AUGUSTA, Ga. – An Aiken nursing home has reported its first case of the coronavirus, while an Augusta facility has seen a small increase in cases.

Pepper Hill Rehab and Nursing Center owner Melissa Oden said a part-time employee tested positive for the coronavirus. The employee worked two days over the weekend.

Oden said no residents or other workers have tested positive.

In Augusta, University Hospital spokeswoman Rebecca Sylvester said 16 residents at Kentwood Nursing Facility tested positive, along with six staff members. She said 20 others are awaiting results.

Sylvester said all positive staff members have been sent home under quarantine, while the residents have been transferred to University Hospital to be monitored. She said there are no positive cases inside the facility.

“We’re optimistic that we’ve minimized the outbreak to the best of our ability, mainly due to the quick action of our nursing staff who recognized early symptoms and removed those people from the facility to minimize further spread,” Sylvester said in a statement. “Not all of the positive patients and residents are symptomatic.”

At Windermere Health and Rehabilitation Center, the number of positive cases remains at 74 patients and four deaths. The National Guard has visited the facility several times to help with cleaning and sanitization.