2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Of the 18 positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Burke County on Saturday, eight of those are at Grace Heights Health and Rehabilitation in Morganton.

One resident at Grace Heights has tested positive and is isolated at the facility said John Altschul, administrator at Grace Heights.

David Fardulis, regional operations manager, said the seven other positive cases associated at the facility are workers and are currently isolating at their individual homes.

Altschul said the safety of residents and staff has always been and continues to be a top priority at Grace Heights Health and Rehabilitation.

“This has never been truer than in our current situation,” Altschul said. “The infirmed and elderly are especially susceptible to this virus and as healthcare providers, we agree that stopping its spread is a critical issue that requires our complete attention and most competent efforts.”

Altschul said the leadership at Grace Heights Health and Rehabilitation is in close communication with Burke County Health Department, state and federal health officials to ensure the facility takes the appropriate recommended actions.

“We have been and continue performing many safety measures beyond what the Centers for Disease Control has recommended,” Altschul said. “For weeks, we have restricted visitors from entering our facility, cancelled all group activities and dining, screened staff, residents, healthcare providers, and local emergency management. Additionally, we have, at a minimum, taken resident daily temperatures, performed respiratory assessments and monitored much other medical information beyond what is normally required.”

Altschul said that along with its skilled nursing and assisted living providers, Grace Heights will continue to rely on local, state and federal resources to help prevent the spread of the virus. “Please be assured we at Grace Heights Health and Rehabilitation will do everything possible to bring an end to this situation,” Altschul said. “We ask for your patience, understanding and support as we continue our efforts to keep your loved ones safe.”

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