Tabor City assisted living facility announces 40 COVID-19 cases

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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Tabor Commons Assisted Living has announced it has 40 positive cases of the coronavirus, according to a post on Facebook.

Tabor Commons said they have 40 positive cases, 2 of which are staff members. The staff members were asymptomatic until they were tested.

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Columbus County has seen an overall spike in cases in the last few days. On Wednesday, it reported 38 new cases, and on Thursday it reported 12 more cases and a total of 10 deaths.

The county’s Health Director Kim Smith is begging people to follow social distancing guidelines.

“It only takes one individual who we don’t know is positive,” Smith said. “I think we have a large population that says, ‘Well this hasn’t touched me, it’s not affected me, so it doesn’t pertain to me.”

Smith says Tabor Commons is the third assisted living facility in the county to report an outbreak.

“All the facilities in the county were doing the right things,” she said. “They were checking their employees before they came in in the mornings, they had proper hand washing facilities available, they had the hand sanitizer, they restricted visitors.”

Tabor Commons shared post on Facebook Thursday morning, updating everyone on the status of the facility.

“This is a very scary reality with this disease in that some carriers are not exhibiting any outward warning signs or symptoms,” the post said.

The facility said they are working to connect with families and keep them updated through the resident’s points of contact.

“I know many from the outside looking in will have questions about our efforts, and many people will wonder if we did everything we could to keep this out – my answer to them is simply – Yes, we tried, we all tried really hard – no one wants this for their family – these residents and our co-workers are our family,” the post continued. “So we also ask for kindness and understanding as these are times like none of us have ever seen and there are a lot of things unfortunately outside of our control.”

This is the third facility in Columbus County that is dealing with positive cases. Premiere Living and Rehab Center in Lake Waccamaw and Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center are also dealing with positive cases.

Smith says the assisted living facilities aren’t the only reason for the high number of cases in the county.

“They’re connected to these mass gatherings, and we’d like to see it stop,” she said.

Smith says they’ve had a big problem with people having get togethers, parties or other gatherings despite the social distancing guidelines. The county has taken to passing out flyers to residents and businesses around the county, educating them on these guidelines.

“We just need for everyone to stay at home,” she said. “Hopefully in a few months, we’ll be over this, and we’ll have time to celebrate then.”