Campus of senior center battling coronavirus was used as polling place for primary

SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A voter told Channel 2 Action News he’s upset after learning his polling place was a senior living facility hard hit by the Coronavirus.

“I’m absolutely shocked. Had no idea,” said voter James Harper. “And I’m very disappointed.”

James Harper took pictures of his long wait outside the Christian City senior living community in south Fulton County on Tuesday.

He told Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon he waited for seven hours!

“It stretched around the block, not to mention through the campus,” said Harper.

But until we told him, he didn’t know he had just spent so much time at a place devastated by the Coronavirus.

According to the latest numbers from the Georgia Department of Community Health, Christian City ranks among the hardest hit long term care facilities in the state with 97 residents diagnosed with the virus over the past few months.

The state says 23 of those residents have died.

“I’m telling you that I don’t think I would have gone to that location had I known,” said Harper.

County officials issued this statement about maintaining voter safety:

“In consultation with facility management, the decision was made for the Christian City facility to be a polling location for Fulton County elections after careful thought and consideration. The polling location is located in a building separate from senior housing areas. Overall we just want to ensure voters that every possible consideration was taken to ensure their safety.”

We also reached out to Christian City management.

A spokesperson for PruittHealth, which operates part of the facility, told us voters went to the polls in the administration building, which is on the same campus -- but not attached to the nursing center where residents have died.

He says no voters were put at risk. But Harper isn’t so sure.

"There’s no reason that we should have been at a polling location that’s had a history or a past history of coronavirus cases,” said Harper.

The Pruitt spokesperson also says the current number of residents with the virus at the facility is much lower, down to 56.

In a statement, the spokesperson also said: We stand by our commitment to transparency during this pandemic and our publicly reported data of PruittHealth's website. We continue to work with public health officials to help them improve the reporting process.

The data made publicly available on PruittHealth.com is updated regularly and includes the number of:

• Patients currently residing at each location who have tested positive for Covid-19

• Pending Covid-19 test results

• Cumulative covid-19 deaths that have occurred at each location, not including patients who were transferred to a hospital

• Employees who test positive for Covid-19 at code red locations

• Percentage of patients tested for Covid-19 by location

Any employee, patient, or family member with questions is encouraged to contact our emergency operations center at 855-742-5983.

We ask for your prayers during this difficult time, and out of respect for the privacy of patients and staff, we cannot share any more details at this time. For updates and more information on our disease protocols, please visit PruittHealth.Com.