By TIM SINIARD
Life Bridges Inc. announced Friday that multiple employees, as well as special needs clients served by the organization, have tested positive for COVID-19
The organization, founded in 1973, provides residential housing, day services and medical care services to individuals with developmental disabilities.
According to Diana Jackson, Life Bridges’ CEO, 14 of its more than 500 employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
Jackson said most have recovered or are in the process of recovery, although she did not immediately know how many.
In addition, out of 177 clients, 11 have tested positive for the virus, with two recoveries.
The facility is also following recommended guidelines for essential health care personnel.
“We are following the Center for Disease Control and Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities guidelines for essential workers which state that if a staff [member] has tested positive and is not sick, they can work in a home with positive cases if they chose to do so,” Jackson said.
Jackson said Life Bridges’ management participates in a weekly call with the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities and upper administration, who confirmed the guidelines on Wednesday.
According to the CDC’s website, under “Crisis Capacity Strategies to Mitigate Staffing Shortages,” healthcare personnel with confirmed COVID-19 are allowed to “provide direct care only for patients with confirmed COVID-19, preferably in a cohort setting.”
“We serve a vulnerable population and we are prepared to provide the necessary care in this evolving situation,” Jackson said.