New COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported at three Greenville-area care facilities, bringing the total number of active outbreaks at local congregant living settings to five.

A total of 17 staff members and three residents have tested positive for the virus at Oakhaven Assisted Living, and six staff members and one resident tested positive Cypress Glen Retirement Community. One death is associated with the Cypress Glen outbreak, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

A smaller outbreak was reported at the Universal Health Care nursing home in Greenville, where two staff members tested positive, according to the DHHS report on outbreaks in congregant living settings issued on Tuesday. An outbreak is defined as two or more people testing positive for the virus within 28 days.

Nursing homes and residential care facilities have been locked down since the pandemic began in March, but the outbreaks have proven difficult to prevent. They have been reported at nearly 300 facilities statewide, accounting for nearly 9,900 virus cases and 1,135 deaths, nearly half state’s total of 2,287 deaths as of Thursday.

Cypress Glen Executive Director Laurie Stallings on Thursday said the facility has taken extreme precautions to prevent infection and places the highest priority on the safety of its residents and staff. She would not provide specifics about the outbreak.

“We are staying strong, we’re fighting the good fight, we’re working hard to weather the storm, and we know we will see better days ahead,” she said.

Information about when the outbreaks began was not available late Thursday. They were not listed on a state report issued July 31. Reports from Aug. 4 and Aug. 7 were not available on Thursday.

In all, Pitt County has had eight outbreaks. Two others are ongoing at:

  • Ayden Court Nursing and Rehabilitation, where positive tests for one staff member and four residents are listed, up from three residents listed July 31.
  • East Carolina Rehab and Wellness in Greenville, where 18 staff and 42 residents tested positive. Six deaths are associated with the outbreak.

Three previous outbreaks are no longer listed as active. They were at Pruitt Health-Farmville, Care One Assisted Living of Greenville and an earlier outbreak at Ayden Court.

Fifty-six new cases of the virus were reported in Pitt County on Thursday, up from 51 the day before, according to DHHS. That brings the total number of cases since the pandemic began locally to 2,161. The county health department reports that 1,548 people have recovered and 11 people have died.

The last death in Pitt County was reported on July 28. It’s not clear if the death associated with the Cypress Glen outbreak is among the 11 deaths reported so far.

Statewide, 1,763 new cases of the virus were reported on Thursday, up from 1,166 the day before. It was the third day of increases.

Hospitalizations rose slightly as well to 1,070 statewide. The number at Vidant Health facilities rose from 89 to 95.

Virus cases continued to cause disruptions locally on Thursday as Pitt County health and court officials worked to determine how many people had been exposed to a courthouse employee who tested positive.

Officials learned about the infection on Tuesday night and had to cancel court sessions and close some offices on Wednesday and Thursday.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Marvin Blount said court will resume today after officials determined that no other courthouse employees, attorneys or members of the public were in sufficient contact with the employee.

Precautions also continued on Thursday for more than 30 East Carolina University students and staff who tested positive and people at Innovation Early College High School in Greenville who came into contact with a person there who tested positive.

Contact Bobby Burns at baburns@reflector.com and 329.9572.