GREENSBORO — The number of COVID-19 outbreaks has increased significantly in Guilford County nursing facilities, according to public health officials.
More than 20 new coronavirus outbreaks are included in the weekly report released Tuesday by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. In at least half of these outbreaks, positive cases involved more staff members than residents.
That’s more than double the new outbreaks reported in Guilford County between Oct. 5 and Jan. 25. And nationally, COVID-19 infections among nursing home staff and residents have surpassed numbers from last winter’s surge, according to a report from Kaiser Health News, when the first doses of the vaccine were becoming available.
The increase is not unexpected. Local health officials warned in December that the particularly infectious omicron variant would spread rapidly through the community.
Adam Sholar, president and CEO of the North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association, a nonprofit trade group of skilled nursing facilities in the state, said in a statement that COVID-19 infections had a “major impact” on the personnel of certain facilities.
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“Like everyone else, we’ve seen a surge of positive cases following an increase in family gatherings over the holidays,” Sholar said. “Fortunately, we see that the number of cases is starting to decrease. Most nursing home residents who contract the virus have relatively mild symptoms. »
A COVID-19 outbreak is defined by the state as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases. State report numbers generally lag behind real-time cases and are considered preliminary and may change as more information is obtained.
According to the state report, the number of new outbreaks in nursing homes include:
Accordius Health in Greensboro: 11 staff and 12 residents. A spokeswoman said the facility currently has two active cases of COVID-19 among residents and two involving staff members. A previous outbreak involving three staff members and eight residents – including the deaths of two residents – was also declared over in Tuesday’s report. An outbreak is considered over if there is no evidence of continued transmission for the previous 28 days.
Ashton Health and Rehabilitation: 15 staff and five residents. NCDHHS officials said Wednesday that a previous outbreak involving 13 staff members and six residents, including the death of one resident, had been declared over.
Camden Health and Rehabilitation: 15 staff, 11 residents.
Carolina Pines in Greensboro: eight staff members, 14 residents.
Countryside Village: 12 staff, eight residents.
Greenhaven Health and Rehabilitation Centre: 20 staff, 13 residents.
Maple Grove Nursing & Rehabilitation Centre: one staff member, four residents.
River Landing at Sandy Ridge: 25 employees. State health officials said Wednesday that a previous outbreak involving three staff members and four residents, including the death of one resident, had been declared over.
The Shannon Gray Rehabilitation and Recovery Center: 27 staff, two residents.
WhiteStone: five staff and four residents. “As we have seen in the past, there is a lag between when these numbers are reported to NCDHHS and when they are made public,” executive director Mark Lewis said in an email. “Currently at WhiteStone we have three active COVID cases and they are all employees. We remain committed to the safety procedures we have put in place at WhiteStone, including screening everyone before entering the community, requiring staff and residents to continue to wear masks, and social distancing. in public places and to limit the size of our group activities.
In residential care facilities, new outbreaks have been reported at:
Brighton Gardens of Greensboro: 12 staff, one resident.
Brookdale High Point North Assisted Living: three staff and three residents. A previous outbreak involving a staff member and a resident was declared over in Tuesday’s report.
Brookdale Lawndale Park: eight staff, two residents. A spokesperson for Brookdale Senior Living, which owns the High Point North and Lawndale Park facilities, said the state information was “a bit dated” and that there were no cases of COVID- 19 active in either community. “We continue to prioritize the health and well-being of our residents and associates as we persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic,” spokesperson Taylor Ellis said.
Guilford House: one staff member, three residents. In an email, Guilford House said residents tested positive between January 12 and January 26, and a member of staff tested positive on January 20. All were asymptomatic and the staff member has since returned to work.
“The community is continuing all prevention efforts, including weekly testing, screening, disinfecting and masking,” said executive director Barbara Woodard, noting that all staff and residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19. . “Our top priority will always be the health and well-being of our residents and staff.”
Harmony House: five staff, five residents. Harmony House officials said the facility’s last positive case was about three weeks ago. “Given what we’ve all been through over the past two years and given that we currently have no cases, I think that says a lot about our efforts,” spokesman Mark Hubbard said.
Richland Place: nine staff, 22 residents.
The Arboretum at Heritage Greens: six staff, eight residents.
Verra Springs at Heritage Greens: four staff, five residents.
Wellington Oaks: four staff members and two residents. A spokeswoman for the facility said the residents tested positive on Jan. 7 while three staff members tested positive the week of Jan. 10 and one staff member tested positive on Jan. 20. All were back or released to return to work this week. “The community is continuing with mitigation efforts, including weekly testing, screening, disinfecting and masking,” spokeswoman Cigi Sparks said.
Port of Westchester: The state report contained two sets of numbers for this facility, which the NCDHHS found to be incorrect. The agency was checking the numbers and said it would update its report.
Tuesday’s status report also noted that a previous outbreak at Friends Homes in Guilford involving two staff members has been declared over.
In some facilities, cases of previously reported outbreaks have increased. These include:
Clapp Nursing Center: 13 additional cases among staff, for a total of 15, and one case involving a resident.
Friends Homes West: Seven new cases among staff and two previous cases involving residents.
Six other facilities have ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, but their numbers have not changed from the previous week.
Contact Kenwyn Caranna at 336-373-7082 and follow @kcaranna on Twitter.