A COVID-19 outbreak that included deaths of three residents at PruittHealth, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center on Johnson Ridge Road in Elkin, was announced Monday by the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center.

Twenty-nine COVID-19 cases had been confirmed at PruittHealth as of early Wednesday afternoon, said Maggie Simmons, assistant health director of the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center. This included 14 staff members and 15 residents. On Monday, the case total included 12 staff members and 15 residents.

The three residents at PruittHealth who died were people in their 80s or 90s with underlying medical conditions, stated a press release from the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center.

Residents of the PruittHealth facility in Elkin typically include numerous people originally from Wilkes County.

The Surry center press release said that according to PruittHealth, residents of the facility who tested positive for COVID-19 were isolated from others to stop further spread of the virus. It said the Surry center is closely monitoring the situation and will remain in daily contact with the PruittHealth facility and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services regarding the situation. 

PruittHealth released a statement saying, “The alert code for the facility in Elkin remains red and this means visitors and nonessential personnel are prohibited from entering the location and enhanced infection control protocols have been strictly followed there.

The statement said these protocols include increasing cleaning frequency, postponing communal activities, ceasing visitation, screening staff and patients daily. “We actively monitor staffing levels and appropriate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). We also have built isolation units to work to contain the virus.”

PruittHealth also said in the statement that it closely follows guidance from public health officials, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The statement continued, “We stand by our commitment to transparency during this pandemic and ask any employee, patient or family member with questions to contact our Emergency Operations Center at 855-742-5983. The Emergency Operations Center is staffed by PruittHealth nurses and healthcare professionals who can help address COVID-19 questions and have scheduled more than 21,000 video chats for patients and their families to date.”   

The statement said the health and safety of patients and staff are top priorities at PruittHealth. “We ask for your prayers during this difficult time, and out of respect for the privacy of patients and staff, we cannot share any more details at this time.”

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