Multiple COVID-19 outbreaks reported at Charlotte-area nursing homes, residential care facilities

Updated: Apr. 13, 2020 at 4:21 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Multiple coronavirus outbreaks are now being reported at nursing homes and residential care facilities across in counties across the WBTV viewing area.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Monday, there are now six outbreaks in Mecklenburg County, two in Rowan and Cabarrus counties, and one each in Burke, Cleveland, Stanly and Union counties.

An “outbreak," according to public health officials, is considered as “two or more individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.”

  • Mecklenburg County: Four nursing home outbreaks, two residential care facility outbreaks
  • Rowan County: Two nursing home outbreaks
  • Cabarrus County: One nursing home outbreak, one outbreak at non-specified facility
  • Burke County: One nursing home outbreak
  • Cleveland County: One nursing home outbreak
  • Stanly County: One residential care facility outbreak
  • Union County: One nursing home outbreak

NCDHHS defines the nursing homes - nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities - as those that provide nursing or convalescent care. Residential care facilities can include adult care homes, family care homes, multi-unit assisted housing, group homes and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID) homes.

Officials have not named the majority of facilities that have confirmed outbreaks or said how many patients tested positive at each facilities.

Across the entire state, NCDHHS is reporting 29 outbreaks at nursing homes, 9 at residential care facilities, six at correctional facilities and one at an unspecified facility.

The new numbers come less than a week after Mecklenburg County health officials confirmed outbreaks at two nursing home facilities and said they were investigating a possible third, and just days after a second veteran died at a Rowan County veteran’s home.

On April 9, Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order that is designed to provide protective measures at North Carolina nursing homes during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Cooper issued mandatory orders that prevent gatherings in common spaces at nursing homes, such as dining rooms and group activities.

The order also requires all nursing home employees to weather facemasks, and for all facilities across the state to screen for signs of sickness in workers and residents.

“We strongly encourage other long-term facilities to follow the same guidance,” Cooper said. "We are focusing efforts on these congregate care institutions since the nature of the virus makes them easy targets for outbreaks."

Nursing homes across the state have already been ordered to limit visitors. In fact, visitors are only permitted if a resident is close to dying.

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