3 test positive for coronavirus at Nags Head nursing and rehabilitation facility

Posted at 4:12 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 16:12:16-04

NAGS HEAD, N.C. - The Dare County Division of Public Health confirmed Thursday that three people have tested positive for coronavirus at a nursing and rehabilitation facility in Nags Head.

Officials say the three positive COVID-19 cases are linked to residents and staff at Peak Resources. Of the three people who tested positive, officials say two are Dare County residents and the third lives in another county.

DCDPH says additional testing that led to these results was part of a comprehensive public health investigation based on a single positive test result that was announced on April 5. The patients and staff who had direct contact with the positive individual were tested the next day. With these positive test results, all patients and staff at the facility are now being tested.

“I want to acknowledge the obvious concerns this will create for those residing and working at Peak Resources and for their families,” said Dr, Sheila Davies, Director of Dare County Health and Human Services. “It is a very difficult situation for all involved. As we receive the test results for all Peak Resources patients and staff, our public health staff will work closely with the facility to ensure that those individuals who are COVID-19 positive remain isolated from staff and patients who test negative. Additionally, our staff will continue to conduct contact tracing of direct contacts associated with individuals who test positive.”

Since the original positive test for the person living at Peak Resources was received on Sunday, staff and leadership at Peak Resources, local public health leadership, Outer Banks Hospital and Vidant Medical Group leadership have been communicating and prioritizing strategies and actions to care for those affected and to reduce the risks for others at the facility.

“We remain dedicated to the well-being and safety of our residents and employees,” said Melissa Harrison, local administrator at Peak Resources. “Protecting the health of those we care for and the community we service remains our highest priority. We are making every effort to ensure we stop the spread of the Coronavirus within our facility. We are extremely proud of our staff members and their rapid and diligent response in handling a very unique and difficult situation.”

According to Harrison, “Since late January, we have been closely following the guidelines established by the CDC, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health. We will remain in active communication with the local and state health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps.”

Wednesday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced updated guidelines for all North Carolina congregate living facilities, including the use of face masks while interacting with patients, closing communal areas and requiring residents and staff to be screened daily for COVID-19 symptoms.

Local health officials have shared the updated guidelines with all congregate facilities in Dare County. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is now offering information online to show outbreaks at congregate living facilities, including correctional facilities and nursing homes.

This now brings the total number of cases of COVID-19 in Dare County to 13. Of the 13, six have completely recovered, five are asymptomatic (meaning they have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms), one remains hospitalized out of the county and one has died.

The Division of Public Health urges everyone to take precautions to protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19 all respiratory illness:

  • Stay home, and only go out for necessities or exercise, and only have contact with the people you live with.
  • Avoid contact with persons that you know are sick.
  • Cover your cough (cough into the crook of your elbow; or use a tissue and throw in trash).
  • Practice good hand hygiene (wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing).
  • If you do not have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces with household cleaners.
  • Consider using a cloth face covering to help slow the spread of COVID-19. A face covering alone is insufficient to provide an adequate level of protection, and other measures should also be utilized.

Officials say it is important that the information you access about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources including the CDC, NCDHHS and Dare County.

The North Carolina Public Health COVID-19 Hotline can be reached at 1-866-462-3821 and is staffed by nurses and pharmacists around the clock. The Dare County COVID-19 Call Center can be reached at 252-475-5008 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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