The head of Charlotte retirement community Southminster said his facility is struggling to access coronavirus tests three days after reporting its first positive case.
“If I needed them today, I couldn’t necessarily get them today,” said Southminster President and CEO Ben Gilchrist.
A resident living at the south Charlotte facility’s health center tested positive for the virus on Friday. Gilchrist said the resident was placed in quarantine and staff is working to test residents determined to have a higher risk.
He said Southminster would like to test all residents and staff but has had trouble getting tests quickly and was forced to send some residents to coronavirus testing sites.
North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said long-term care facilities shouldn’t need to do this.
“There are plenty of ways for us to facilitate going to the places directly so you do not need to be sending your residents who may be more medically frail to a testing site,” Cohen said at a press conference Monday.
She said nursing homes facing testing problems should contact North Carolina Health and Human Services or their local health department.
Nearly 3,000 people who live in nursing homes or residential care facilities had tested positive for the coronavirus as of Monday at 5 p.m., according to state health department numbers.
The director of a nursing home in Davidson has also called for expanded testing at such facilities. According to data released Monday by state health officials, 63% of people in North Carolina who have died from COVID-19 complications were residents of congregant living facilities, such as nursing homes.
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