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4-in-10 Tennessee COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes...that's actually better than most states


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  State officials released new COVID-19 related fatality figures for Tennessee nursing homes on Friday and the numbers are grim.

Nursing home residents make up just five percent of the confirmed cases of the corona virus statewide, but they account for 40 percent of all deaths.

As of Friday, 125 Tennesseans have died in long-term care facilities.

Metro Memphis leads with 39 deaths. Sumner County has seen 24 fatalities, nearly all in just one facility. Thirteen Metro Nashville nursing home residents have died so far.

Rutherford County has been especially deadly for nursing home residents. Out of just 51 confirmed cases, 11 county long-term care patients have died.

Tennessee long-term care residents are actually faring better than the residents of such facilities in neighboring states. More than half of all COVID-19 related fatalities in Mississippi, Georgia and Kentucky are nursing home residents. In North Carolina the proportion is greater than 60 percent.

Gov. Bill Lee made testing every resident and employee of long-term care facilities a state priority during May. He touted that objective while attending a meeting at the White House earlier this month. But with five days remaining in May, it doesn’t appear that goal will be met.

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