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May 15, 2021

NC State Veteran’s Home site of COVID-19 outbreak, two deaths

UPDATED: 5 p.m.

A second veteran staying at the N.C. State Veterans Home, located on the campus of the Hefner VA Medical Center, has died after testing positive for COVID-19, according to a spokesperson with PruittHealth.

PruittHealth is the managing company for the N.C. State Veterans Home in Salisbury. This is the second death at the facility. The first patient died April 4 and had also tested positive for COVID-19.

It is the third death in Rowan County. Earlier in the day, a Rowan County Emergency Services spokesman and Public Health Director Nina Oliver confirmed an outbreak at the facility but did not provide further details.

“As soon as we learned a second veteran tested presumptive positive, we immediately tested 14 additional veterans who resided on the unit,” a spokesperson for PruittHealth said. “Five of those tests yielded presumptive positive results. We are in the process of testing all veterans at the center. The families of the veterans who tested presumptive positive have been informed, and out of respect for the situation, we will not be commenting further on their condition.”

PruittHealth said it is grateful to the U.S. Veterans Administration and W.G. (Bill) Hefner Medical Center in Salisbury for their assistance with facilitating testing for all the veterans at the center.

The Alert Code for North Carolina State Veterans Home in Salisbury remains at Red, meaning nonessential personnel are banned from the location and no new admissions are allowed. PruittHealth is continuing to follow guidance from public health officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the company said.

“We will continue to monitor the issue and its effects on our center as we follow the latest public health guidance,” PruittHealth said. “We ask any employee, patient, or family member with questions to contact our Emergency Operations Center at 855-742-5983.”


ORIGINAL STORY

SALISBURY — The N.C. State Veteran’s Home, located on the campus of the Hefner VA Medical Center, is the second local site of a COVID-19 outbreak in a nursing home.

An outbreak is considered to be two or more cases. And while Rowan County Public Health officials confirmed outbreak status, they did not say how extensive the outbreak was at the veterans nursing home.

“With any outbreak, we follow up and investigate the cases and work with the facility to try and prevent additional cases,” Rowan County Public Health Director Nina Oliver said. 

A patient at the N.C. State Veterans Home died Saturday after testing positive for COVID-19. The veteran was the second local death attributed to coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. The person was considered to be in the high risk category due to age and underlying health conditions.

The first nursing home outbreak was verified by Salisbury Post reporting on Thursday to be at the Citadel, a skilled nursing facility owned by Accordius Health on Julian Road. Oliver also would not speak to specifics of the outbreak at that facility.

However, the Post spoke with nurses at the facility who said they were aware of at least four patients who had tested positive, some of whom have been hospitalized, as well as one staff member who has worked in the facility. A statement provided by Accordius Health, contrasted sharply with the facility’s state-designated outbreak status and statements from nurses who worked there, saying there was only one “confirmed resident case” at the Salisbury facility.

Oliver told the Post the Rowan County Public Health Department was investigating the outbreak and working with the facility to mitigate the situation. She went on to say public health officials are working with the facility and have acquired additional tests.

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