CHARLOTTE – Ten long-term care facilities across Mecklenburg and Union counties have reported COVID-19 outbreaks of two or more cases this month.
Mecklenburg County may have reversed its stance on identifying facilities that reported outbreaks, but Public Health Director Gibbie Harris told reporters April 20 that the number of cases at each location won’t be released at this time.
“That information is not useful to the public and it is not necessary, I don’t believe,” Harris said. “You have to remember these nursing homes are people’s homes. We are continuing to do what we can to protect people’s individual information.”
Counties reported the following long-care facilities have reported outbreaks:
• Charlotte: Charlotte Square, Hunter Woods Nursing & Rehab Center, Pavilion Health Center at Brightmore and The Social at Cotswold
• Cornelius: Autumn Care of Cornelius
• Huntersville: Huntersville Oaks
• Matthews: Carrington Place Rehab & Living Center
• Monroe: Monroe Rehabilitation Center and Woodridge
• Pineville: The Laurels
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines an outbreak as two or more positive cases in such a facility.
Before Mecklenburg County had its first case at a long-term care facility, the health department held a conference call with such centers to review response to COVID-19, including restricting visitation, reporting cases and isolating patients.
Mecklenburg County offers guidance on controlling the infection at centers experiencing outbreaks. Such measures include contact trace interviews and isolation plans.
Union County reported that 12 of its 15 new cases reported April 15 were directly related to outbreaks at two centers.
Dennis Joyner, who leads Union County Public Health, told commissioners April 20 that his department’s role is one of guidance in communicating state and national recommendations to long-term care facilities.
Joyner said the numbers reported at these centers include staff, which are people circulating in the community.
“We know this is not going to be a quick flip of the light switch that’s going to go away,” Joyner said.