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Second outbreak reported in Catawba County; Abernethy Laurels has 2 confirmed cases

Second outbreak reported in Catawba County; Abernethy Laurels has 2 confirmed cases

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Retirement community lockdown

This file photo shows Abernethy Laurels retirement community earlier this year when the facility began to restrict visitors due to the coronavirus.

A COVID-19 outbreak was reported at Abernethy Laurels retirement community, according to a press release from Catawba County Public Health.

Two cases were confirmed, one in a staff member and one in a resident.

Abernethy Laurels is informing residents, family members and staff of the outbreak, the release said.

A staff member tested positive for the virus on May 13, according to a release from Abernethy Laurels. The facility did widespread testing of staff and residents at the Newton retirement community. A resident's test came back positive on Monday.

Both people with COVID-19 are quarantined, Abernethy Laurels Chief Executive Officer Lee Syria said in the press release.

“We are taking every step as recommended by authorities to contain the spread," Syria said. "We want to make residents, their families, our dedicated team members and our community aware of this situation and reassure everyone that we are managing the situation effectively and responsibly.”

The facility continues to screen staff and residents daily for signs of illness or fever, according to the press release. Everyone is required to wear a mask.

The outbreak is the second instance in a retirement community in Catawba County. An outbreak was identified at the Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation in Viewmont last week.

“We know facility residents and their loved ones are concerned about this news, and we are doing everything we can to assist administrators and staff as they work to protect the people in their care,” Catawba County Public Health Director Jennifer McCracken said in the release. “We are also continuing daily monitoring of all congregate care facilities in our community in order to respond as quickly as possible to reports of potential illness.”

Case count

Catawba County reported seven new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, the largest day-to-day increase the county has seen since the health department began reporting virus numbers.

The new cases bring the county’s total confirmed cases to 111, according to Catawba County Public Health.

Of the county’s confirmed cases, 50 people have recovered from the virus and five people are hospitalized. Two people have died from COVID-19 complications in Catawba County, according to public health.

The confirmed cases don’t include all cases of the coronavirus in Catawba County because not everyone with the virus is tested, according to the county.

The county saw a jump in testing Monday with 148 new negative test results reported to public health, bringing the county to 1,336 negative test results.

Burke County reported nine new confirmed cases on Monday, bringing the county total to 203 cases. Of those, 91 people have recovered.

Alexander County did not report any new cases, leaving the county with 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19, nine of which have recovered.

Caldwell County reported 10 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, putting the county’s total at 86 confirmed cases. Of those, 36 people have recovered. At least 2,332 tests have been done in Caldwell County and 2,102 have come back negative.

Statewide, there are 19,023 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services website.

At least 661 people have died from COVID-19 in North Carolina and 511 people are hospitalized as of Monday.

At least 255,755 tests for COVID-19 have been completed in North Carolina.

Gov. Roy Cooper said he is hopeful North Carolina will go into the second phase of easing COVID-19 restrictions to reopen the state by Friday but did not commit to that date.

The second phase would allow restaurants to open in some way and would allow hair salons, nail salons, gyms and movie theaters to open. Cooper said he expects to announce details of phase two by the middle of the week.

A COVID-19 outbreak was reported at Abernethy Laurels retirement community, according to a press release from Catawba County Public Health.

Two cases were confirmed, one in a staff member and one in a resident.

Abernethy Laurels is informing residents, family members and staff of the outbreak, the release said.

A staff member tested positive for the virus on May 13, according to a release from Abernethy Laurels. After that, the facility did widespread testing of staff and residents. A resident's test came back positive on Monday.

Both people with COVID-19 are quarantined, Abernethy Laurels Chief Executive Officer Lee Syria said in the press release.

“We are taking every step as recommended by authorities to contain the spread," Syria said. "We want to make residents, their families, our dedicated team members, and our community aware of this situation and reassure everyone that we are managing the situation effectively and responsibly.” 

The facility continues to screen staff and residents daily for signs of illness or fever, according to the press release. Everyone is required to wear a mask.

The outbreak is the second in a congregate facility in Catawba County. An outbreak was identified at the Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation in Viewmont last week.

“We know facility residents and their loved ones are concerned about this news, and we are doing everything we can to assist administrators and staff as they work to protect the people in their care,” Catawba County Public Health Director Jennifer McCracken said in the release. “We are also continuing daily monitoring of all congregate care facilities in our community in order to respond as quickly as possible to reports of potential illness.”

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