Hendersonville assisted living facility has 23 confirmed COVID-19 cases, more presumed


HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) – In Henderson County, nearly half of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 are concentrated at an assisted living facility in Hendersonville. So far, 23 cases have been confirmed at Cherry Springs Village.

A single case was confirmed at the facility on April 1.

Helen Joy George’s father lives there. He was tested Tuesday, but his results won’t come in for another few days.

“I keep telling myself, he’s strong, he’s going to be okay, but I am panicked a little bit inside,” George said.

She said her father, like many of his neighbors, has memory problems. He specifically struggles with short term memory loss. He and others like him are now quarantined in their rooms.

“I’ll call and be like, ‘Dad, what are these like over there?’ ‘Oh they’re fine. When can we get a chocolate chip cookie? When can we go get coffee?'” she said. “And you know I’m like, ‘Dad, the whole world’s shut down. Like there’s no coffee shops open.'”

George said a doctor told her her father will likely have a mild case. But for others, the prognosis is more bleak. 7News asked Dr. Kevin O’Neil, who is the chief medical officer of Cherry Springs’ parent company, if they’re expecting residents to die.

“We are praying and hoping that that will not happen, but the reality is it could,” he said.

George fears she will be separated from her father for months, and worries about how he’ll cope.

“I just don’t know if he’s going to be able to make it through mentally like feeling that loneliness,” she said. “You know we’re all feeling loneliness of some sort, and his is just times 100.”

O’Neil said they’ve alerted some of their hospice providers that their services may need to be expanded. He also said visitors won’t be allowed until at least 28 days after the resolution of the last symptoms.

The facility said it has had strict infection-control policies in place since early February and has followed the guidelines set by state and federal health officials.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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