More than 75 COVID-19 cases reported at Citadel nursing home in Rowan County, officials say

SALISBURY, N.C. — Seniors who are most at-risk of getting the coronavirus are dealing with outbreaks inside their nursing homes, including the Citadel in Salisbury, which said there are more than 75 COVID-19 positive cases at its facility.

[SPECIAL SECTION: TRACKING CORONAVIRUS]

Last week, Citadel Salisbury announced that one resident had tested positive for the coronavirus although many had been tested as more showed symptoms, health officials said Tuesday.

“Citadel Salisbury and the Department of Health have been in close communication and are partnering to best manage the continued spread of the virus and the care for the infected residents,” health officials said. "The County has also spoken with a local advocate for residents in long-term care, who is approving of our heightened infection control and care process around this virus. “The safety and well-being of our residents and employees is always our top priority,” Rowan County officials said in a statement. “We are closely monitoring all CDC and other government agency updates. We are following their directives and are employing appropriate strict precautions and preventative measures against infection, including, but not limited to, restricting any person’s access to our facilities, except under very specific and essential resident circumstances.”

According to the state health officials, an outbreak means there’s at least two cases.

Monday, Channel 9 spoke to a staffer at the Citadel who had tested positive and she said others had as well, but could not say how many.

>> We’ll bring you LIVE updates on Channel 9 Eyewitness News. Get extended coverage on the free WSOC Now app on Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV.

Channel 9′s Erin Edwards spoke to a family member of a resident at the Citadel who said they’re upset with how these cases are being handled.

“I was never notified, and the residents were never told,” said a family member.

They claim the facility never told residents or family members about the outbreak.

“It was hard, you know. It disappointed me, it infuriated me. We have the right to know. The residents have a right to know what’s going on," they said.

A woman whose father is a resident at the Citadel said she was notified about the first case at the facility but found out it was considered an outbreak from watching the news.

“They’ve been slow to respond, and then just now not responding at all. So, to hear about it through a media outlet rather than them, I just think that’s just poor, poor management,” the woman said. “Information is key to fighting this, especially when you’re dealing with, you know, a large amount of residents in one place. They all have family members. It’s only right that you should let them know, at the very least, let them know what’s happening."

Rowan County also had another outbreak at the Veterans Home, where two residents died and seven more tested positive. Authorities there said they are beginning to test all of the staff.