A company that owns and operates 35 nursing homes and rehabilitation centers in Alabama has reported three confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus at facilities in Northport and Hoover.

A spokesperson for NHS Management, LLC said two nursing assistants at South Haven Health and Rehabilitation in Hoover were sent home last week with flu-like symptoms that have since tested positively for the highly contagious virus.

At Aspire of West Alabama, a resident displayed flu-like symptoms last week and was admitted to DCH Regional Medical Center, where she remained Thursday. The spokesperson said that resident has also tested positive for COVID-19.

As a precaution, all the residents who were cared for by the nursing assistants in Hoover will be tested, but the spokesperson said as of Thursday, no residents of that nursing home have confirmed cases of the virus.

In Northport, the infected resident had already been isolated in her room because of pre-existing health issues, but the NHS spokesperson said all nurses and staff involved in treating the patient and every resident in her unit of the facility will be tested.

"Aspire West Alabama and South Haven are enacting the required protocols to help ensure the safety of our residents and our employees. All protective protocols are in place, testing of residents is underway, and restricted access to the facility in accordance with federal health care guidelines continues," the spokesperson said. "Only visits that are medically necessary or for hospice visitation is allowed, and then only under restricted conditions. We are asking for the understanding and patience of the families with loved ones in our care as we do our very best to ensure the well-being of our residents."

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