Attorney: 26 residents of Gallatin nursing home have died after coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus
Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing residents return

(Photo: WKRN)

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Twenty-six residents of a Gallatin nursing home have died after a coronavirus outbreak at the facility last month, according to an attorney suing the center.

Clint Kelly, an attorney representing several families in a lawsuit against the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing, told News 2 on Thursday that the number of residents at the nursing home who had died increased from 21 to 26 in a matter of days.

The governor’s office said late last month that more than 100 residents and staff members at the nursing home had tested positive for the virus. Many were removed from the facility and transported to area hospitals for treatment.

Since then, 26 residents of the Gallatin nursing home have died, Kelly said.

When the Tennessee Department of Health was asked about the additional deaths, a department spokesperson said, “as with any reporting, it can take 48 to 72 hours for a lab result to get into our reporting system.“

The spokesperson added that facility-specific number would be updated once per week on the state’s website.

Sumner County had 556 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to numbers released Thursday afternoon by the Tennessee Department of Health. While 315 had reportedly recovered from the virus, there were 32 deaths reported countywide.

Andrew Sheeley, counsel to the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing, offered this statement to News 2 on Friday afternoon:

We are not aware of any COVID-19 related negligence lawsuits filed against Gallatin Center at this time.

Gallatin Center did receive what is called a notice of intent to make a claim by a local attorney on behalf of a former resident who unfortunately contracted the coronavirus, but that does not necessarily mean an actual lawsuit will follow. The resident was provided timely and appropriate care by Gallatin Center, and then went on to receive an even higher level of care at a local community hospital.

As I am sure you are aware, the coronavirus outbreak has swept through senior living facilities across the globe killing thousands of at risk elderly people. Published reports indicate there have been outbreaks in over 3,400 senior living facilities across those states in reported data. The latest reports reflect over 10,000 nursing home residents have died from complications related to coronavirus.

As is abundantly clear, Gallatin Center is not the only skilled nursing facility impacted by this tragic pandemic. The extraordinary leadership at Gallatin will continue to partner with local hospitals and the Tennessee Department of Health and maintain their focus on the safety of its residents and staff.

Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner, Dr. Lisa Piercey, in an open statement to the public, remarked that Gallatin Center’s response to the escalating situation was ‘perfectly adequate.’ She went on to say that the Gallatin Center was an ‘excellent partner’ with the DOH and ‘very cooperative and protective of their residents’ during the response. Finally, Dr. Piercey informed the public that after an exhaustively thorough investigation, the DOH found ‘no deficient practices’ by Gallatin Center.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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