The Putnam County Commissioners passed a measure on Friday to hire a professional company to clean up a room at the county home where a man died two weeks ago.
The commissioners met in special section to discuss the matter. Officials told the commissioners that Michael Jarvis likely died on Dec. 26, but the exact date of his death is not known because his body was not discovered until Dec. 30.
Putnam County Coroner Thomas Miller recommended professional clean-up for Jarvis' room, noting that there were areas in it that were "unsanitary." He said county home staff were hesitant about cleaning up the room, areas of which were soiled with bodily fluids.
"This is not a gross contamination project, but I feel strongly about having a professional clean the area," Miller said. "But any bodily fluid is a biohazard."
Miller said his "only interest" in the clean-up was as an elected official of the county.
"I just need to stay involved because this happened on county property," he said.
Jody Henderson, assistant matron at the county home, said it was not out of the ordinary for she and her staff to not see Jarvis for several days at a time.
"This was noting unusual for (Jarvis)," she said. "If he had a phone call, he would just open his door a crack to see who it was. He didn't come out of his room much, and he would get mad if he thought someone was going to go into his room."
Henderson said Jarvis rarely ate meals with the other residents of the county home, choosing instead to bring in his own food and eat alone in his room.
Jarvis had lived at the county home since 2004, Henderson said. The commissioners held an executive session with Miller and Putnam County Health Department director Dr. Robert Heavin before their regular meeting Friday. Commissioner Gene Beck said officials had declared Jarvis died of natural causes, and that he had suffered from "multiple health issues."
The county home is open to individuals aged 55 or older who are still ambulatory but do not have the means or need for nursing home care. Residents pay to stay at the home. Fees are based on income.