Chatham County woman wanted mother in nursing home tested, told no

Local News

PITTSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — The Laurels of Chatham, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Chatham County, has six cases of COVID-19.

Amanda Robertson’s 81-year-old mother is at that home and wanted to get her mother tested. She said she was told no, her mother wasn’t showing any symptoms. 

Nina Thayer

“It was really concerning,” Robertson said.

Her mother — Nina Thayer has Alzheimer’s disease.

“She’s not going to be able to advocate for herself at all, and so they rely on us to do that,” Robertson said.

Robertson said she received a call from the facility Monday, informing her someone there tested positive for COVID-19. She called back Wednesday concerned, asking that her mother be tested. She said she was told no. 

“That makes no sense to me because we know, anybody that’s watching the news and paying attention knows that you don’t have to show symptoms to actually be a carrier,” she said.

In response to CBS 17’s request for comment, the Laurel at Chatham sent us this statement:


Statement to Interested Parties – April 9, 2020

“Chatham County Public Health Department is working with The Laurels to provide testing for any resident or employee who was in close contact with those who have tested positive or show symptoms of COVID-19. While positive cases are unfortunately something we anticipated due to the spread of COVID-19 across the country, we empathize with our residents, employees, and families during this unprecedented time.

Thank you to CCPHD for continued guidance and support and to our dedicated team for their unwavering commitment to resident care and safety. We truly appreciate everyone’s cooperation and understanding.”

Rob Peck, Regional Director of Operations, Laurel Health Care Company

“We do have limited capacity on test kits,” the Chatham County Health Director Layton Long said.
Long said they just can’t test everyone at the facility, at least not yet.

“We’re following the protocols and guidelines set forth by the state and the CDC. We would like to test as many as we possibly can but we have to use the equipment and supplies that we have to the greatest advantage,” Long said. 

​The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Many Cohen admits tests are still an issue. 

“We want to make sure that supplies are available but when we’re able to yes, we would recommend broad testing,” Dr. Cohen said. 

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