Second veteran dies amid COVID-19 outbreak at Rowan Co. Veterans Home

Updated: Apr. 10, 2020 at 4:25 PM EDT
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - PruittHealth has confirmed that a second veteran who tested positive for COVID-19 at a Rowan County veteran’s home has died.

The patient, a resident at the N.C. State Veteran’s Home in Salisbury, died at a local hospital Friday. The patient’s name has not been released.

There is no word on the patient’s age or possible underlying health issues.

“We are saddened to share that a second veteran of North Carolina State Veterans Home – Salisbury who tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 passed away earlier today at a local hospital,” PruittHealth officials said in a statement to WBTV.

Officials say that as soon as they learned the patient had tested presumptive positive, they “immediately tested 14 additional veterans who resided on the unit. Five of those tests yielded presumptive positive results.”

They are now in the process of testing all the veterans at the center. The families of the veterans who tested presumptive positive have been notified.

“We will continue to monitor the issue and its effects on our center as we follow the latest public health guidance," officials said. “We ask any employee, patient, or family member with questions to contact our Emergency Operations Center at 855-742-5983.”

The first patient at the center was in the high risk category due to age and underlying medical conditions. Officials say the patient was experiencing serious illness prior to death.

Health officials say that first patient’s death may not be related to the coronavirus.

This facility is one of two nursing homes in Salisbury with COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Citadel Nursing Home also has an outbreak, which means at least two people who live there have tested positive. These outbreaks are why Governor Roy Cooper is issuing stricter orders on congregated living centers.

Because of these reported outbreaks, the Governor is ordering nursing homes to follow these regulations.

Nursing Homes in Burke, Cabarrus, Union, and Mecklenburg Counties are also reporting outbreaks according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

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