BURLINGTON – Alamance County Health Department has identified a COVID-19 cluster at Childcare Network in Elon. Currently, five (5) cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among four (4) children and one (1) staff. The cases will be included on the biweekly Child Care and School Settings report for NC DHHS. NC DHHS defines a cluster as minimum of five laboratory-confirmed cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases.
A second COVID-19 outbreak has been identified at Blakey Hall Assisted Living in Elon. Currently, six (6) cases have been confirmed among five (5) residents and one (1) staff. NC DHHS defines an outbreak as two laboratory-confirmed cases in a period of 28 days within a congregate living or long-term care facility. Regular testing is required through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in order to provide surveillance as protective factor for both staff and residents.
Ed Weeks, Executive Director of Blakey Hall, stated “We contacted the Alamance County Health Department to report the results as well as to seek any additional guidance once we received the results. This is the classified outbreak in this particular building on our campus. We also communicated with our resident’s families and responsible parties to inform them of our results. The cases are concentrated to our main assisted living building. Our residents are quarantining in their rooms as we move forward to further sanitize our facility. Our medical provider has been conducting weekly tests up until this point. We will continue to work with the Health Department to aggressively protect our residents and staff. Our local health department has been an exceptional resource for our community throughout this pandemic and we continue to appreciate their services.” He further stated, “We will continue to exercise our current restrictions and sanitation practices. We are monitoring our residents and staff daily for symptoms and will be testing weekly until we no longer have any cases in our facilities.”
“Alamance County Health Department responded quickly to both Childcare Network and Blakey Hall to offer testing and guidance to mitigate the outbreak as quickly as possible,” stated Health Director Tony Lo Giudice. “We will continue to work with both facilities to ensure the safety of the community.”
Alamance County Health Department identified its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 20. Since then, a total of 8827 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the community. Of those confirmed cases, 7808 have been released from isolation and 896 remain active and in isolation. Included in those active cases, 56 individuals are receiving care at a hospital. Sadly, there have been 123 COVID-19 related deaths. COVID-related deaths include only patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, and who died without fully recovering from the disease.
COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise in Alamance and surrounding counties. It is important to take steps to reduce your risks of contracting COVID-19, specifically wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distance and avoiding crowds, and washing your hands and cleaning commonly used surfaces regularly. During this holiday season, limit travel and limit physical contact with people who do not live in your household. The health of you, your loved ones, and the community are what matters.