VALDOSTA — A long-term care facility in Brooks County where six people have died from the COVID-19 virus, intends to test all of its residents “out of an overabundance of caution,” according to a statement from the company’s CEO.

Fellowship Home at Brookside, at 470 Fellowship Home Lane, has 100 residents, according to a chart released Friday by the Georgia Department of Public Health. Fellowship CEO John LaHood said the care home has had 11 residents test positive for COVID-19 including the six who died. In addition, three staff members at Fellowship have tested positive, the chart indicates. Five of Fellowship Home's six fatalities were terminally-ill hospice patients, LaHood said.

Five Brooks County residents have died from the pandemic, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Sunday COVID-19 update, three male and two female. They ranged in aged from 73 to 92; two were known to have underlying medical conditions, the DPH said.

Fellowship Home has gone to great lengths to protect residents and staff against the coronavirus pandemic, LaHood said in a statement released Sunday.

Some of these measures include increased cleaning frequency, postponing communal activities, ending visitation, screening staff and residents daily, restricting staff to only essential personnel and dedicating staff members to specific areas of the building, he said.

Additionally, the National Guard was called in to help deep-clean and disinfect.  

On Monday, Fellowship Home will consult with South Georgia Medical Center’s clinically-led COVID-19 response team, LaHood said. The team will consult with the care facility’s task force to assess measures taken and discuss possible scenarios and responses, he said.

Fellowship Home leadership has consulted with many organizations, including clinical experts, public health officials, emergency medical managers, senior care professionals from around the state, as well as direct communication with Gov. Brian Kemp and his COVID-19 response team, LaHood said. 

“Although there have not been any positive COVID cases at (Fellowship Home at Brookside) outside of our Elms memory care living area, our most sincere thoughts and prayers are being extended to residents and families who have been impacted the most. We have been proactive from the very beginning and will continue to aggressively work hard to protect our residents with every resource available to us,” LaHood said. “We are extremely proud of our staff and their commitment to providing a safe home for our residents.”