Local News

57 people from Chatham County nursing home test positive for coronavirus

Posted April 12, 2020 12:27 p.m. EDT
Updated April 12, 2020 11:49 p.m. EDT

— A Pittsboro nursing facility said 57 people from the community have tested positive for coronavirus.

The Laurels of Chatham, located at 72 Chatham Business Drive, had previously reported six cases but confirmed 51 more on Sunday after the entire community was tested on April 10.

Now, employees at the facility have shared their concerns with WRAL News about the handling of the situation.

"We were wearing ponchos; we were also wearing nightgowns that the patients wear over our clothes," said one nurse who has now tested positive. "We were wearing bandanas for our masks unless we made our own. They did give us goggles but, that’s all that we had.”

"I believe I picked it up from a patient."

Another nurse who has tested positive told WRAL News that they are expected to be at work on Monday despite their positive test.

Both nurses claimed that they were not provided with proper PPE and believed that the situation would be much less dire if they had been.

“Its not fair to the employees," one said. "The situation we got put in, and them telling us we have to go to work if we’re not showing symptoms. It’s not right.”

“This event at the nursing homes is just a reminder of how connected we all and how important it is for all of us, everyone one out there to do your part," said Mike Zelek, the public information officer of the Chatham County Public Health Department.

Statewide, COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported in 38 congregate living settings, including 25 nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities, as of April 11.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities feature some of the most at-risk communities gathered in close quarters.

In Wake County, Sunrise of Raleigh, Woodland Terrace and Wellington Rehabilitation and Healthcare have reported at least 59 coronavirus cases. Pruitt Health in Durham reported 86 cases.

Springbrook Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Clayton has reported 38 cases, and Pinehurst Healthcare in Moore County has 53 confirmed cases.

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