By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • A child behavioral health center in Hoke County is experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19, according to the Hoke County Health Department.
Three employees and 14 residents at the Canyon Hills residential treatment center have tested positive for the illness, Health Department Director Helene Edwards said.
Two facility employees tested positive last week, prompting the Health Department to test the residents. Of the 19 samples taken Friday, 14 were positive, officials said. A third employee at the center tested positive Tuesday.
The youth who live at the residential center were apparently asymptomatic when they were tested, Edwards said. They haven’t reported feeling sick despite testing positive for COVID-19.
Hoke County Health Department staff are conducting contact tracing on the 17 cases. They are also monitoring the situation.
The state released the name of the facility Monday, along with the names, locations and patient counts of other congregate living facilities across the state that are experiencing outbreaks. An “outbreak” at a congregate living facility is when two or more people at that facility test positive for coronavirus, Edwards said.
The 17 cases brought Hoke’s total up to 68 known cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday. Most of the other recent cases in Hoke involve healthcare workers, employees at meat processing plants and their family members. Many of the earliest patients in Hoke diagnosed with COVID-19 have already recovered, according to health officials.
Hoke County is seeing community spread of COVID-19, and so is the rest of the state of North Carolina, Edwards said this week.
Three people from Hoke County who are positive for coronavirus, including a pregnant woman, are currently hospitalized for treatment. So far no one in Hoke County has died of COVID-19. More than 340 people in North Carolina, and more than 50,000 people across the United States have died of coronavirus-related causes.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is now updating the information on congregate living facility outbreaks twice a week. The NCDHHS is also posting daily COVID-19 data updates. To view the latest update from the state agency, visit www.ncdhhs.gov.