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Only nine Bill Nichols State Veterans Home residents are currently testing positive for COVID-19.

Many local positive COVID-19 cases and deaths are attributed to residents and staff of long-term care facilities in Tallapoosa County.

Statistics and recently released numbers from local officials show Tallapoosa County's long-term care facilities account for at least 217 positive reported cases. Tallapoosa County has 329 cases as of Tuesday afternoon.

Officials with Alabama Department of Public Health said residents of long-term care facilities are sometimes technically residents of other counties than the county their facility is located in. 

ADPH spokeperson Arrol Sheehan said deaths are reported by county of residence. Thus, persons, even when living in long-term care, have physical addresses that may be the address of their family, spouse who remains in the home, or other responsible person of record. The person may not have lived in the county where the facility is located.

According to current ADPH statistics as of 2:50 p.m., Tallapoosa County has 50 of the state’s 428 COVID-19 deaths, or 11.7%. 

Based on current statistics released by the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City is now reporting a total of 23 deaths due to COVID-19 and 91 residents have tested positive with 41 current positive cases. Twelve of the 41 employees who tested positive have returned to work.

Bill Nichols is licensed to house 150 residents.

Chapman Healthcare in Alexander City has had 10 deaths in the last two months and eight of whom died tested positive for COVID-19, according to Prime Management vice president of operations Brantley Newton. Since the coronavirus pandemic started, the long-term care facility has seen only a slight growth in the number of deaths at the home. Prime Management, which manages the facility, and Chapman officials said the home averages four deaths a month. 

Chapman administrator Ashleigh Taylor said the facility has had 34 residents test positive, some of whom were transferred to Lake Martin Community Hospital, with 10 testing negative and 16 remaining in quarantine. It has had 49 employees test positive for COVID-19 with 33 safely back at work while the others are still quarantining at home. 

The home houses 181 residents in its skilled nursing facility. 

Chapman’s Healthcare also has an assisted living facility where no residents have tested positive but two employees tested positive last month.

As of Tuesday, officials with Adams Health & Rehab Center and Brown’s Nursing & Rehabilitation reported no positive COVID-19 cases among its residents.

Editor's Not: Pick up Wednesday's Outlook for more information about COVID-19 in long-term care facilities in Alexander City.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.