BURLINGTON – Alamance County Health Department has identified an outbreak at the long-term care facility Liberty Commons in Burlington. The initial case count indicated twenty-one (21) confirmed cases of COVID-19 among one (1) staff and twenty (20) residents. 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.
“Liberty Commons will be administering COVID-19 tests for all staff members and residents twice weekly until further notice,” stated Jim Newman, Administrator at Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation.
“Resident and staff safety is our top priority. We are doing everything we can to prevent COVID- 19 from spreading in our community including closely monitoring all residents, screening all employees every time they enter the building and using universal mask precautions for each employee throughout the building at all times. We are staying in close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all of the appropriate steps. We want you to know that we are taking every precaution to prevent the spread of infection and strictly adhering to all directions from the local and state health department.
We know this is a difficult time for everyone. We will continue to fight for our residents and are hopeful that vaccines will begin to be administered soon.”
“Alamance County Health Department has collaborated with Liberty Commons to offer testing and guidance to mitigate the outbreak as quickly as possible in order to keep staff, residents, and our community safe,” stated Health Director Tony Lo Giudice. “We will continue to work with the facility by conducting surveillance testing and continuing communication between the Health Department, hospital partners and the facility.”
Alamance County Health Department identified its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 20. Since then, a total of 9939 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the community. Of those confirmed cases, 8886 have been released from isolation and 919 remain active and in isolation. Included in those active cases, 56 individuals are receiving care at a hospital. Sadly, there have been 134 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.