Catawba County News

Another Outbreak Identified in Long-Term Care Facility

Another Outbreak Identified in Long-Term Care Facility

Published: July 08, 2020

Catawba County Public Health is investigating a newly identified outbreak of COVID-19 at Abernethy Laurels in Newton, where 3 residents and 2 staff members have tested positive for the virus. The facility is informing patients, their family members, and staff about the situation.

This is the sixth congregate care facility outbreak identified in Catawba County. In a congregate living setting, a COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases.

The facility previously responded to an outbreak that involved 3 individuals. That outbreak has since resolved.

“We are deeply concerned about how difficult preventing the spread of COVID-19 is proving to be in Catawba County,” said Catawba County Public Health Director Jennifer McCracken. “COVID-19 is spreading before people even realize they are infected. This is significantly increasing our local case numbers countywide and, as we have seen in the past few days, continuing to impact our most vulnerable residents.

“I cannot stress enough that the majority of our local cases are coming from contacts within the community,” McCracken continued. “It is especially important for us to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly to health care workers and others who care for those living in congregate care facilities every day.”

The facility has conducted additional testing and is working closely with Public Health to ensure control measures are in place to help prevent further spread of the disease.

Public Health is in frequent communication with facility administrators and has advised the facility on cleaning and disinfection, and other best practices for infection control, such as providing meals and separating residents.

Public Health is continuing daily monitoring of all congregate care facilities in our community in order to respond as quickly as possible to reports of potential illness.

More information about Catawba County’s COVID-19 response and recommended prevention measures can be found online at