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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2021
From: Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency
Haywood County Health & Human Services reports a COVID-19 outbreak at Spicewood Cottages
The Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency has identified a COVID-19 outbreak at Haywood Lodge & Retirement Center’s Spicewood Cottages facility in Waynesville.
At the time of this release, there are eight residents and three staff identified as COVID positive.
Statement from Spicewood Cottages:
“We were notified on Sunday, July 11 that a family member visiting Spicewood Cottages Elms the week prior tested positive for COVID-19 that day. Although all our residents and staff working that building had been fully vaccinated, we began testing all involved parties the next morning. Much to our surprise and disappointment, several tested positive. Most of which were asymptomatic. We are following testing protocols and samples are being prepared by Quest Diagnostics for CDC evaluation. As always, our facility will continue to act in the best interest of its’ residents and employees to promote their health, safety, and welfare during this turn of events. Thanks to the community for your continued support.”
Health and Human Services are assisting the facility with contact tracing and coordination efforts throughout this outbreak.
“I want to commend the staff for their cooperation during this time. They have made every effort to provide us necessary information while continuing to provide quality care to their residents. We recognize that an outbreak within a facility is no one’s fault and that the caregivers are putting forth a tremendous effort to keep the number of positive cases low. They are following public health guidelines, have increased testing and cleaning procedures, and limited visitors.
These events bring to light that COVID-19 is still prevalent in our community. It is not gone and this is not over. We continue to see an uptick in positive cases as people gather together in large groups and remain unvaccinated. I want to encourage everyone to practice good hand hygiene, to maintain a safe distance in large gatherings, and to wear your mask in settings where social distancing isn’t feasible. Be safe for yourself and for those around you,” said Sarah Henderson, director, Haywood County Public Health.
In a congregate living setting a COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more positive cases identified through a positive molecular (PCR) or positive antigen test result. An outbreak is considered over if there is no evidence of continued transmission within the facility. This is measured as 28 days after the latest date of onset in a symptomatic person or the first date of specimen collection from the most recent asymptomatic person, whichever is later.
Symptomatic individuals who test positive will be required to remain in isolation under the following conditions: 1) At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND, 2) At least 24 hours have passed since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND 3) Symptoms (like cough and shortness of breath) have improved. Asymptomatic individuals who test positive will be required to remain in isolation under the following conditions: 1) At least 10 days have passed since their positive test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.
Additionally, Haywood County Public Health is working to identify any close contacts of employees. Haywood County defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, without a mask, during the period in which they are contagious. Based on the information provided by the employees, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed, quarantine, and/or testing.