47 residents, 8 staff test positive for COVID-19 at Christian Health Center

CORBIN — The Knox County Health Department and Christian Care Communities are reporting Tuesday afternoon that five Christian Health Center residents have died following an outbreak of COVID-19 in the nursing home.

In a press release Tuesday afternoon, Christian Care Communities President and CEO Mary Lynn Spalding reported that of the five deaths, four were previously hospice or comfort care patients before contracting the virus. Hospice and comfort care allows for caring for any pain and attending to the patient's emotional and spiritual needs at the end of life.

All patients were over the age of 85 and had advanced heart failure or advanced Alzheimer's disease.

The fifth resident was 96 years old and had advanced Alzheimer's disease. 

All five residents and families were aware of the natural decline in health prior to the virus outbreak.

"It's important the community has full information about the situation, especially in long-term care. While we all grieve the loss of these residents we find comfort in knowing that their passing was not directly attributed to this devastating virus," said Executive Director Janet Lovitt.

Additional testing of residents and staff is ongoing.

"Any death is a tragedy and the loss is felt by family, friends and our staff. The Christian Health Center is a critical part of our region's healthcare system and we appreciate the support and prayers from the community as we work diligently to combat the virus," Spalding said in the release.

On June 26 the Knox County Health Department reported 47 residents and 8 employees of the Christian Health Center in Corbin had tested positive for COVID-19 after testing on June 24. Then on July 1 the Knox County Health Department reported a discrepancy in the number of positive cases for the nursing home, instead saying 46 residents were positive. 

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