Employee at Life Care Centers facility in Athens, Tennessee, tests positive for COVID-19

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

An employee of the Life Care Centers of America senior living facility in Athens, Tennessee, has tested positive for COVID-19, the company said Monday.

Jeff Ricks, the center's executive director, said the company received notification of the positive test on April 12 and that the associate hadn't worked in the building since April 9.

At this point, no resident or other associate in the building has tested positive for the coronavirus, he said.

"When we received the notification, we notified the state health department and started the process of contacting every resident, resident family member and staff member, to inform them of the positive test," Ricks said. "At Life Care Center of Athens, we are, and have always been, committed to providing high-quality resident care."

He said the facility has and will continue to follow all Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and state and local health department guidelines concerning COVID-19.

"Our associates are being diligent on practicing proper hand hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment, which is recurring education they normally receive, beginning with their orientation at our facility," Ricks said.

He said every associate is also screened when they arrive for work and when they leave, including checking temperature, to ensure no additional sickness is brought into the building. Anyone with a fever more than 100.4 is sent home and asked to contact their personal physician, Ricks said.

The guidelines also place restrictions on the entrance of visitors, family members and vendors, he said, and signage with information on COVID-19 and details about the restrictions are posted on its doors.

"Our entrance is also equipped with an infection prevention station that includes personal protection supplies," Ricks said.

"We continue to work in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health and local health agencies and will follow the guidance they provide," he said.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @Mike PareTFP.