Support for EC Health and Rehab

Staff at Elizabeth City Health and Rehabilitation on U.S. Highway 17 South wave as one of the vehicles participating in a parade of support drives past the nursing home in Elizabeth City, Friday, May 29.

The COVID-19 outbreak at an Elizabeth City nursing home that included more than 70 positive cases and 14 deaths is officially over, officials said Wednesday.

Christy Saunders, Pasquotank-Camden emergency management coordinator, said in her weekly update that the outbreak at Elizabeth City Health & Rehabilitation is considered resolved. A spokeswoman for Albemarle Regional Health Services later confirmed Saunders’ report.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services considers an outbreak of COVID-19 at facilities like nursing homes and prisons to be over when there is no evidence of continued transmission of the disease. Typically that’s 28 days after the latest onset of COVID-19 in a symptomatic person or the last specimen collection from an asymptomatic person, whichever is later.

During the outbreak at ECHR, which was first reported on May 3, a total of 50 residents and 21 staff members contracted the novel coronavirus, the highly contagious virus that causes the respiratory disease COVID-19. Fourteen residents of the nursing home died from complications associated with the disease.

Saunders’ report indicated that 56 COVID-19 cases at ECHR have recovered from the disease, noting the number includes “residents previously admitted from other facilities.” The ARHS spokeswoman said, however, that the agency is not “aware of any active cases” of COVID-19 currently at the nursing home.

The first reported COVID-19 related death at ECHR was reported May 7. The nursing home’s last reported death from the virus was reported June 15.

Jill Strickland, administrator at EC Health and Rehabilitation, did not immediately return a phone call Wednesday seeking comment.

The 14 COVID-19-related deaths at ECHR are among the 17 total reported in Pasquotank County from the disease. No new virus-related deaths were reported in ARHS’ eight-county district on Wednesday.

The number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 655 in the region on Wednesday, as Pasquotank, Camden, Bertie and Hertford counties reported new cases.

Pasquotank’s case count rose to 210, only 39 of which are active. Camden’s case count rose to 29, with 12 active cases. Bertie’s case count rose to 146, with nine active cases. Hertford’s case count rose to 164, with six active cases. Of other area counties, only Perquimans, with eight, had more than five active cases. Regionwide, the number of active cases rose to 84, 13 percent of all reported cases.

Statewide, the number of COVID-19 cases rose to 66,513, an increase of 1,843 from Tuesday. The number of deaths associated with the virus rose to 1,373, an increase of 30 from Tuesday.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 fell to 901, a decrease of seven from Tuesday. Also, an additional 17,660 COVID-19 tests were completed on Wednesday, raising the statewide total to 942,238.