A Special Announcement About COVID-19

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On Tuesday, January 5, 2021, SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals had a guest who tested positive for COVID-19. Working with UNC Hospitals, arrangements were made for the patient to stay elsewhere, which happened that same day. During their stay at Family House, the patient and spouse followed our COVID protocols and had very little contact with staff, volunteers, or other guests. These COVID protocols have been in place since we re-opened on June 1, 2020 and include wearing masks and social distancing, as well as the cleaning and disinfecting that are already part of our daily operations.

Our next steps for ensuring the health and safety of guests, volunteers, and staff are based on guidance from the Orange County Health Department and Family House Medical Advisory Committee (MAC). This committee, Tom Shea, MD, Anthony Charles, MD and Emily Sickbert-Bennett, PhD, specialist in Infectious Diseases, were closely involved in developing protocols for an occurrence of COVID-19 and have advised us that since all involved were masked, the CDC considers this “low risk” and does not warrant quarantine as there was no “close contact”*. We will continue to keep the MAC and the Orange County Health Department informed and ask you to keep the patient in your thoughts.

Given the far-reaching spread of the pandemic, a case of COVID-19 was inevitable at Family House. That we were able to make it through 2020 before a known case occurred is a testament to the efficacy of our protocols and the tremendous commitment of our staff, volunteers, guests, and larger community to our mission to protect guests’ health.

Thank you for your understanding. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at jmcadams@secufamilyhouse.org.

Kind regards,

Janice McAdams

Executive Director

* The CDC defines someone who has had “close contact” as having been “within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated." You can read more about COVID protocols, testing, and tracing on the CDC website


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