NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Two employees of Northchase Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Murrayville have tested positive for Covid-19, New Hanover County officials announced Friday.
The employees were the only individuals out of 240 tests including all residents and staff members to have positive test results. Four tests are still pending, according to the county’s release. Both employees who tested positive live outside of New Hanover County.
With two positive cases, the center now meets the minimum North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ definition of an “outbreak.”
Northchase Rehabilitation and Nursing Center is now New Hanover County’s first outbreak of Covid-19 identified in a congregate living facility. New Hanover County Public Health has determined the center has strong infection control measures already in place.
Nationwide, fatalities in nursing homes make up one-third of all Covid-19 deaths. In North Carolina, deaths in nursing homes make up more than half of all fatalities, which total 859 as of May 29.
“Working together, we have been able to prevent an outbreak until now, which is good; and I believe this facility has done everything right to help prevent the virus’ spread even further. Around the country, we are seeing the virus get inside long-term care facilities through the staff, which they are getting outside of work. That is why it is so important that we all do everything we can to follow protective measures any time we are in public,” Carla Turner, Public Health’s Personal Health Services Manager, said in a county release Friday.