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One nursing home facility in Athens has confirmed multiple positive COVID-19 cases.

Wade Menefee, director of nursing at Limestone Health Facility in Athens, said as of Monday, 23 patients and nine employees had received positive test results. He said capacity at the facility is 170 patients.

Limestone Health Facility confirmed to The News Courier on Friday that the facility had 11 residents and employees test positive for the virus. According to Menefee on Friday, Limestone Health Facility had conducted facility-wide testing and were continuing to monitor the situation.

Menefee said patients are being isolated in a COVID-19 unit at the nursing home. He said patients would be transported to Athens-Limestone Hospital if they required that level of care.

"Any residents that are positive, they are receiving the appropriate medical care that they need," he told The News Courier, adding staff members who are positive are quarantined away from work and also receiving appropriate medical care.

Menefee said the community could help by continuing to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when out in public. The guidelines include washing hands often, avoiding close contact and staying at least 6 feet apart, covering your mouth and nose when around others, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning and disinfecting and monitoring your health.

On Monday, David Spillers of Huntsville Hospital said the system as a whole — which includes Athens-Limestone Hospital — had 115 COVID-19 inpatients. In early June, there were 28 patients systemwide.

Spillers said there were 44 inpatients in Madison County, 20 inpatients in Decatur and nine inpatients at Athens-Limestone Hospital, which was the most COVID-19 patients at the facility since reporting for the virus started.

Spillers said the average age of admissions across the system continues to be patients in their mid-50s, and most them have some pre-existing condition. However, he said there is a 16 year old within the Huntsville Hospital system on a ventilator and in the intensive care unit.

Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks said it's “heartbreaking” when it comes to the rising cases in Athens. He encourages residents to continue to practice social distancing and to follow safety guidelines.

Visit to see the latest county and statewide COVID-19 numbers.

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