Nearly half of a Moore County nursing home residents tests positive for COVID-19

Local News

PINEHURST, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly half the residents at a Moore County nursing home have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Through a glass window, Rick Fitzgerald talked to his 91-year-old mother at the Pinehurst Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center on Thursday.

He said she’s one of the residents who’s tested positive.

“Initially, I was kind of shocked,” said Fitzgerald. “I felt bad for a little bit over it, but you know she’s lived a good life and she’s doing okay, so far she hasn’t exhibited any symptoms.”

His mom suffers from dementia. He said she doesn’t understand what’s going on. 

“I just let her talk, but just looking at me she gets a smile on her face, so that’s the most important,” said Fitzgerald.

On Thursday, Moore County announced 53 people at the center tested positive for coronavirus. That’s nearly half the residents and a quarter of the entire facility.

The Moore County Health Department said they’ve received all test results for residents and they hope to receive the remaining test results for staff on Friday.

A state order mandates staff to wear face masks and be screened daily. 

The health department said the facility’s administrators have told them they have the personal protective equipment needed. 

“It’s nerve-wracking,” said a man whose grandma lives at the facility. “They were a little late on calling us. Our local newspaper actually knew about it before we did, as far as the family.”

CBS 17 found out the nursing home has a one-star rating from the federal government. They were fined $10,000 in 2019 and more than $300,000 in 2018 for different deficiencies.

Fitzgerald said he’s only had positive experiences with them, including now. 

“They highly encourage us to call, so every day I can call right to the nurse’s station. They’ll give me an update immediately,” said Fitzgerald. 

CBS 17 asked the health department if it’s been considered to move residents out of the facility when they test positive. A spokesperson said, “The guidance here would be for the resident to remain in place at the facility and isolate. They’d be in a separate wing/area of the facility with their own designated staff attending. The only time they might be moved from the facility is if their symptoms became severe and they required hospitalization.”

CBS 17 reached out to the facility multiple times by phone and email to get more information. We’ll let you know when we hear back. 

“Everybody pray. The Lord’s in charge, so the more prayers that go up, the more helpful it is,” said the man whose grandma’s a resident.

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