COVID-19 Update from Abernethy Laurels

May 18, 2020

A case of COVID-19, the illness resulting from the novel coronavirus, has been diagnosed in one (1) resident and one (1) team member at Abernethy Laurels.

On May 13th, the Catawba County Health Department was informed of a positive case of COVID-19 of a team member on the campus of Abernethy Laurels.  Per the notification, a decision to test 286 team members and 150 residents on May 14th resulted in one (1) new case as of today. Additional test results are still forthcoming.

“All individuals testing positive have been quarantined,” said Lee Syria, Chief Executive Officer. “We are taking every step as recommended by authorities to contain the spread. We want to make residents, their families, our dedicated team members, and our community aware of this situation and reassure everyone that we are managing the situation effectively and responsibly.”

Since the beginning of March, Abernethy Laurels has reviewed existing policies and best practices as it relates to infectious control.  We have also followed recommended guidelines as confirmed through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help reduce the potential for this virus to enter our community, including initiating aggressive and proactive efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, such as:

-Wearing personal protective equipment to minimize the exposure and spread of COVID-19

-Screening team members daily for fever and respiratory symptoms before starting each shift and sending home if they are ill

-The nursing facility is actively screening all residents at least daily for fever and respiratory symptoms and immediately isolating anyone who is symptomatic.

-Telehealth remote communication technologies are being utilized with providers in lieu of in-person contacts as permitted by CMS guidance

-Visitor restrictions and screening  except for compassionate care situations (e.g., end of life)

-Limiting access points to the nursing facility

-Restricting all volunteers and non-essential staff including consultant services

-Implementing universal facemask use by all individuals in nursing facility

-Canceling all group activities, off-site activities, and communal dining

-Enforcing social distancing among residents and team members in the health center

Additionally, we have asked that our residents and team members support our community by following the recommendations set forth by the CDC to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19:

-Social distancing or sheltering at home
-Washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water
-Self-isolating if showing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19
-Seeking  medical assistance as necessary

“At Abernethy Laurels, our number one priority and commitment each day is to those we serve,” shared Syria.  “Our support and prayers go to the well-being of each resident, team member and their families affected.  Due to respect and privacy, we are unable to divulge any detailed information specific to any resident or team member testing positive.  We will continue to update as additional information is available.”

Owned and operated by United Church Homes and Services, Abernethy Laurels is a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community in Newton, NC offering multiple levels of care, while serving the community for nearly 50 years.

For additional information, contact Joy Cline at 465-8014 or visit our website at