57 staff and residents at Laurels of Chatham senior care center in Pittsboro test positive for COVID-19

Pittsboro, NC – On April 10, 2020, UNC Health, the Chatham County Public Health Department and The Laurels of Chatham worked together to test all residents and staff of The Laurels of Chatham for COVID-19 after six people associated with the facility tested positive earlier in the week. The Chatham County Public Health Department has been notified that an additional 51 individuals have tested positive for the virus (57 total). This may include individuals who do not live in Chatham County and therefore would not be included in Chatham County counts on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. To protect privacy, no additional information about the confirmed cases will be shared.

“We anticipated that universal testing at the facility would reveal more positive cases, and we remain concerned for the staff, residents and their families affected by this outbreak,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Layton Long. “While COVID-19 is highly infectious, especially in congregate living facilities, we remain focused on limiting the spread of the virus. We will continue to work closely with The Laurels of Chatham to do everything possible to contain this outbreak.”

The Laurels of Chatham has notified staff as well as residents and their family members of any positive test results. The Chatham County Public Health Department will continue to share guidance with this facility and all congregate living facilities in the county, as well as the broader Chatham County community. On April 9, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 131, giving further risk mitigation measures at the state’s long-term care facilities.

Statewide, COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported in 38 congregate living settings, including 25 nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities, as of April 11.

“We are grateful for the courage and dedication of health care and public health workers,” added Long. “This outbreak is a reminder to all Chatham County residents of the importance of following public health guidance. Now more than ever before, we must: Stay at home except for essential trips, avoid gathering with others who don’t live with you, maintain distance from others if you must go out, wear a face covering and wash your hands regularly. Our ability to slow the spread of the virus, protect our critical workers and those at greatest risk of serious illness, and respond to events like this depends on everyone taking responsibility.”

For more information on COVID-19 and Chatham County’s response, visit www.chathamnc.org/coronavirus