(5/13 12 p.m.)
Buncombe County health officials are reporting the first confirmed COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities in the county.
A news release states Aston Park Health Care Center and Deerfield Retirement Episcopal Skilled Nursing Home have two or more lab-confirmed cases of the virus. Health officials have not released details, including how many cases have been confirmed and whether the cases are in residents, staff - or both. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services considers an outbreak of COVID-19 in a congregate care facility to be two or more cases in one facility.
According to the release “similar to reported cases of COVID-19, our counts of cases and deaths connected to these outbreaks may differ from state counts due to delays in reporting, timing of investigations and residency status of residents or staff. To avoid conflicting data, BCHHS will rely on NC DHHS for public reporting of the COVID-19 case counts.”
The release goes onto say “despite facilities’ robust efforts to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among staff and residents, outbreaks in long-term care facilities continue to occur throughout North Carolina and the United States. Buncombe County Public Health is actively conducting contact tracing and coordinating with the facility to assist with testing, reviewing control measures, and supporting with testing supplies and guidance to ensure a rapid and appropriate response.”
“The Emergency Operations Center continues to work diligently with NC Emergency Management and the Regional Healthcare Coalition to procure PPE and help these facilities get the resources they need,” said Buncombe County Emergency Services Director, Taylor Jones.
Henderson and Polk counties also have confirmed cases in residential living facilities. NC DHHS data including cases reported in congregate living facilities is updated on Tuesdays and Fridays at 4 p.m. and can be found here.