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Of Atlanta Housing’s 2,500 senior residents, five have died of COVID-19

By Sean Keenan

Five elderly Atlanta Housing (AH) residents have passed away due to COVID-19-related complications, a spokesman for the housing authority said Thursday. 

Though tragic, that number indicates a successful effort to suppress the spread of the novel coronavirus at AH properties, Jeff Dickerson said in an interview. After all, he noted, the public housing agency serves roughly 2,500 senior residents, the vast majority of whom have remained COVID-19-free during the pandemic. 

“I think it’s an indication that the precautions are working,” Dickerson added, alluding to AH’s early implementation of safety measures, such as heavy sanitation of communal spaces and surfaces and its enforcement of social distancing measures. “That number, five [deaths], says that we’ve not had that kind of pandemic-related spreading seen at other places.”

At the Arbor Terrace at Cascade assisted-living facility, on Atlanta’s Westside, for instance, a severe coronavirus outbreak devastated the community, killing nearly 20 residents and infecting dozens of other tenants and staff. 

Early this week, though, Arbor Terrace, whose owners have been sued in the wake of those deaths, began vaccinating its residents and employees, Fox 5 reported.

Now, AH officials are working on a vaccination plan of their own.

“The whole thing’s in flux because there’s a limited supply of the vaccine,” Dickerson said, but the goal is to establish a program that not only transports AH residents to vaccination locations, but also bring healthcare workers to agency properties to administer the shots to folks at home. 

(Header image, file photo: The Atlanta Housing headquarters downtown.)

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