MEDIA RELEASE

BOLIVIA, N.C. – Brunswick County Health Services has identified three individuals at a congregate living facility in the county who recently received positive test results for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Two of the positive cases are employees at Autumn Care of Shallotte, both of whom are also residents of Brunswick County. The third individual is a resident at Autumn Care who is currently isolating in their room and is asymptomatic.

Health Services team members are in communication with management at Autumn Care to provide guidance and examine the facility’s infection control processes. The facility has already contacted all employees and family members of residents about this situation.

All residents at the facility are being tested for COVID-19. At this time, one test has come back positive and the results for the remaining tests are still pending. Health Services is working with the facility and area medical providers to also provide test kits for the facility’s employees.

Overall, the facility has put in place strong preventive measures in line with guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and Brunswick County Health Services. This includes requiring all staff members to wear a face mask and all residents must wear a mask whenever they leave their room.

No further information concerning the facility’s employees or residents will be shared.

“We have had a team in place since March to communicate weekly with all our residential living facilities about their concerns, to address any gaps they might have in their service delivery and to get them the personal protective equipment they need,” Health and Human Services Director David Stanley said. “We are in frequent communication with Autumn Care at this time to see how we can assist them in this situation with any resources they might need to support their residents and employees.”

People can take simple actions each day to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly through asymptomatic spread. Everyone is urged to follow the three Ws when visiting any public area to best protect one another from the spread of the virus. These efforts work best when they are all practiced together by as many people as possible:

  • Wear a cloth face covering when in public (Make sure both your nose and mouth are fully covered and you are able to breathe normally while wearing it.)
  • Wait six feet apart to avoid close contact and maintain appropriate social distancing between yourself and others
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer while also following other best hygiene practices

The NCDHHS defines an outbreak at a congregational living facility as being two or more people—including residents or employees—who receive a positive test for the virus within a 28-day period. The NCDHHS reports on outbreaks in congregate living facilities statewide on its COVID-19 dashboard at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard/congregate-living-settings

As of June 3, there are 121 positive cases of COVID-19 among county residents (77 considered recovered, 39 isolating at 22 different homes, 2 isolating at a hospital, 3 deaths) and 11 cases among non-residents (6 considered recovered, 3 transferred monitoring to home county, 2 deaths). Brunswick County updates its COVID-19 case counts daily (including weekends) for residents and the media to view at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/alert-ticker/information-on-coronavirus/