NORTH CAROLINA — North Carolina is issuing new mandates for state nursing homes and long term care facilities after a new hot spot of at least 60 new coronavirus infections “with more likely to come” emerged at an Orange County skilled nursing home, Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday afternoon.
Seven of the cases related to the Orange County nursing home have led to hospitalizations and two people have died, Cooper said.
“These are shockingly large numbers,” Cooper said.
Separately, at least 31 people associated with a nursing home in Pinehurst, North Carolina have tested positive for coronavirus, Moore County Health Department said Wednesday, the Charlotte Observer reported. Included in that number are 26 of the 96 residents of the Pinehurst Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, along with five staff members. More test results are pending, health officials said.
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There are currently 21 outbreaks in congregate settings, or places where two or more have tested positive, and o those 18 are in long term care facilities, Secretary of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Mandy Cohen said.
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In March, state health officials directed all residential facilities, such as nursing homes, to restrict visitors, except for certain instances, such as end-of-life care. The facilities will now have new set of directives meant to prevent further outbreaks, Cohen said.
Those directives include:
Requiring all nursing home staff to wear masks when interacting with patients Requiring all facilities to close communal areas and restring all non-essential personnel Require all residents and staff to be screened daily for symptoms to detect the disease as early as possible In the event of an outbreak, all residents who test positive for coronavirus should be grouped in a separate area of the facility, cared for by a separate group of staff