NEW HANOVER COUNTY — New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office identified an outbreak of Covid-19 in its Detention Center Thursday, marking the county’s third outbreak in a congregate living setting to date.
Two employees have tested positive for the virus within the past 48 hours, according to a New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office announcement Thursday afternoon.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services defines an “outbreak” as two or more people living or working in a congregate setting testing positive for the virus within 28 days.
The Sheriff’s Office did not announce whether it planned to test all employees or inmates for the virus. Centers for Disease Control protocols are being followed, the announcement states, including requiring employees and inmates to wear masks inside the facility.
The jail is New Hanover County’s third known outbreak. Its first was identified May 29 at Northchase Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Murrayville. Two employees tested positive and as of June 11, the facility has three total positive cases (it is not clear if the third is an employee or resident).
The following week, Brunswick County identified its first outbreak at Autumn Care in Shallotte. Two employees and one resident have tested positive for the virus at the nursing center.
The state’s congregate outbreak list includes a reference to another New Hanover County, with one staff member and one resident listed as contracting the virus. This category is listed under “homeless shelters and migrant farmworker housing” and does not list an address for the New Hanover County outbreak.
In Pender County, 19 inmates of the Pender County Correctional Institution have tested positive for the virus as of June 10 after an outbreak began early April. One inmate died, marking the state’s first death of an inmate housed in a state prison.