35 test positive for COVID-19 at Clayton rehab and nursing facility


CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) – A total of 35 people connected to the Springbrook Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Johnston County have now tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.

The Johnston County Public Health Department said 21 current and/or former residents tested positive along with a total of 14 staff members.

Of those staff members, six live in Johnston County while four live else where. The Health Department did not know the residence of the other four staff members.

CBS 17 reported Springbrook’s first COVID-19 case on April 3.

CBS 17 continues to follow developments at Springbrook Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Clayton closely.

RELATED: Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak at Springbrook

Springbrook admits employees walked out last week after learning a resident tested positive for COVID-19. The company said they have a “core group of dedicated employees” and provided them with raises.

Springbrook said it was making changes including buying more personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, and partnering with a lab, planning to conduct many more COVID-19 tests.

But concerns for some go beyond the pandemic. Patricia Garcia is worried that the facility being understaffed may have contributed to her mother’s death.

“They found (my mom) unresponsive,” Garcia said. “I’ve gotten two different stories on how they found my mama.”

Springbrook said in a statement it is working closely with the health department to implement safety measures. Staff members a raise for their work.

Garcia said that won’t bring back her mother. She said she believes the facility was negligent. She also said she is worried she will never get answers about her mother’s death because she elected not to have an autopsy performed.

Others have had vastly different experiences with Springbrook. Francis Byrd’s husband is a resident. She said her husband has made progress and that the “rehab is fabulous.”

“Anytime I’ve addressed a concern, they’ve been responsive,” Byrd said. “Could they do better? Probably, but you’ve got to have staff.”

A former nurse at the facility shared her reaction with CBS 17. She asked that we not show her face or give her name.

“I was honestly not surprised at all. When I worked there, we were constantly running out of supplies, especially personal protective equipment, PPE. That’s things like gloves and face masks,” the former nurse said.

Overall in Johnston County, 77 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed and four deaths are being blamed on the disease.

COVID-19 timeline

  • March 3: NCDHHS announces state’s first COVID-19 case
  • March 10: Gov. Roy Cooper declares State of Emergency
  • March 11: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic
  • March 13: President Donald Trump declares a National Emergency
  • March 14: Cooper issues Executive Order 117 closing K-12 public schools until at least March 30 and banning gatherings of more than 100 people
  • March 16: NCDHHS recommends no mass gatherings for more than 50 people
  • March 17: Cooper issues Executive Order 118 limiting operations of restaurants and bars, and broadening unemployment insurance benefits
  • March 23: Cooper issues Executive Order 120 which closes public K-12 schools through May 15 and orders businesses such as barbershops and salons to close.
  • March 25: North Carolina reports its first coronavirus-related deaths
  • March 29: Trump extends social distancing orders through the end of April
  • March 31: Cooper signs Executive Order 124 which prohibits utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during the pandemic.
  • April 7: Cooper will sign executive orders limiting customers in retailers and offers child care assistance to certain workers
  • April 14: Coronavirus-related deaths top 100 in North Carolina
  • April 24: Cooper extends stay-at-home order to May 8
  • May 5: Cooper announces Phase One of reopening will being May 8

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