Two long-term care facilities in Orange County are dealing with significant outbreaks of COVID-19 among their resident population.
The facilities are PruittHealth - Carolina Point, which has seen at least 86 confirmed cases, and Signature HealthCARE of Chapel Hill, which has seen at least 31 confirmed cases.
One patient — an individual over 70 under hospice care — at PruittHealth-Carolina Point was reported dead last Friday.
As of April 8, there have been 21 outbreaks in congregant living settings across North Carolina. Long-term care facilities account for 18 of these outbreak sites in the state.
According to a release from Orange County, a strike team was formed comprising members from Orange County Health Department, Orange County EMS, UNC Hospitals and Duke Hospitals will focus on virus prevention and response at the two Orange County facilities.
The teams tested all staff and residents, even if they weren’t showing symptoms, so they know who carries COVID-19.
“We are deeply concerned for the staff and residents and their families who are affected by this outbreak,” Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart said in a statement in the press release. “The best thing we can all do to help them is to remain diligent and practice social distancing.”
The county government has released extensive guidelines for long-term care facilities to follow during the outbreak, which include daily health screenings of staff, the closing of communal areas, barring non-essential personnel from the premises and immediately isolating any residents and staff who test positive for the virus.
Local legislators are beginning to comment on the rapid spread of the disease in long-term care facilities. Orange County legislators N.C. Sen. Valerie Foushee, N.C. Rep. Graig Meyer and N.C. Rep. Verla Insko released a joint statement on these developments on April 8.