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New report lists COVID-19 cases by facility

One Stanly County facility was mentioned in a new report this week by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services regarding the spread of the coronavirus.

Spring Arbor of Albemarle was among the list of congregate living facilities listed by the NCDHHS’s online dashboard tracking and reporting the number of cases of the COVID-19 virus. The report lists six lab-confirmed cases and three deaths from the assisted-living facility.

Originally, the numbers reported by the state did not list the long-term care facilities dealing with active cases of the coronavirus. The report will now be updated every Tuesday and Friday by 4 p.m.

An outbreak as defined by the report is two or more lab-confirmed cases where the persons did not have the COVID-19 before arrival at the facility. The outbreak will be considered over by the report after 28 days have passed since the date of the last case’s symptoms. Should all persons in a congregate facility test positive, the outbreak will be termed over when all persons have recovered or been taken out of isolation.

In the release issued Monday on the new report, a reason given for the new report was to “standardize reporting regarding COVID-19 outbreaks in congregate living settings.”

The report went on to say, “As this pandemic continues to evolve, we continually reassess the appropriateness of data reporting to balance transparency, public health and individual privacy.”

Information on the COVID-19 outbreaks in facilities, the report stated, are conducted by local health departments. Difference in the state’s numbers with those reported in other places may be due to the time required to determine if a case is associated with a facility, including gathering follow-up information and putting into a database.

“Thus, data included in this report may differ from data available through media and other sources. Data are preliminary, and these numbers are subject to change as more information is obtained during outbreak investigations,” the report stated.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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