4 COVID-19 cases identified at Pittsboro long-term care facility Laurels of Chatham

BY ZACHARY HORNER, News + Record Staff
Posted 4/9/20

The Chatham County Public Health Department announced Thursday that four cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, had been identified at the Laurels of Chatham Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Pittsboro.

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4 COVID-19 cases identified at Pittsboro long-term care facility Laurels of Chatham

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Posted

The Chatham County Public Health Department announced Thursday that four cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, had been identified at the Laurels of Chatham Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Pittsboro.

The center had announced on Tuesday, April 7, that it had "recently received confirmation of positive cases" at the facility, located at 72 Chatham Business Park Drive. 

“Staff from The Laurels of Chatham have been in regular communication with our public health team, and we are working together to protect the health of both residents and staff in the facility,” Chatham County Public Health Director Layton Long said in the county press release. “This includes testing for COVID-19, acquiring additional protective equipment for healthcare workers who interact with residents and ensuring proper cleaning and isolation protocols are in place.”

According to the Laurels of Chatham website, the 140-bed facility had been closed to visitors per restrictions from the federal government, with the exception of some "compassionate care situations" like end-of-life.

In response to the positive tests, the Chatham County Public Health Department has been working to identify and test any staff members and residents "who were in close contact with those who tested positive or show symptoms of COVID-19 and to ensure measures are in place to limit the spread of the virus in the facility," the county press release stated.

Long said that he expected cases in Chatham to continue to rise. As of Thursday morning, Chatham had 26 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. The county was the location of the second positive test in North Carolina — the total statewide number had increased to 3,651 as of Thursday morning.

Rob Peck, Laurel Health Care Company's regional director of operations, said in the Tuesday press release that at least one resident was being treated at a "local hospital."

"As the safety and well-being of our residents, employees, visitors, and surrounding community is our top priority, we are doing everything we can to limit the spread of the virus," Peck said. "Affected staff are being treated off-site and will not be returning to work until cleared to do so, consistent with CDC guidelines. We greatly appreciate everyone’s cooperation, understanding and support during this unprecedented time."

Reporter Zachary Horner can be reached at zhorner@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @ZachHornerCNR.

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