Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Graham, NC 27253
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Government COVID closures climb

The number of local government services suspended or closed due to coronavirus is climbing.

N.C. Supreme Court chief justice Cheri Beasley announced Friday that most in-person court appearances will be postponed statewide for 30 days. Hearings in most pending criminal superior and district court cases will be postponed until after January 14, 2021, Alamance County’s clerk of court Meredith Edwards confirmed Monday for The Alamance News.

 Starting this Monday, the Alamance County clerk of court’s office will operate on a modified schedule, the clerk’s office has announced.  The clerk’s office inside the Judge J.B. Allen, Jr. Court House at 212 West Elm Street in Graham will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. weekdays; the clerk’s office at the Alamance County Historic Court House will be open from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. weekdays.

The Alamance County sheriff’s office is closed until next Monday, sheriff Terry Johnson says, due to the high number of senior staff who have contracted the coronavirus.  See separate post/story.

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The Graham Public Library also has announced its closure “until further notice” due to a positive COVID-19 test result among staff.  Wi-Fi will remain available from outside the library building, and book drops will remain open.

Alamance County’s board of elections announced Wednesday that its office at 115 South Maple Street in Graham will be closed until further notice, after a staff member tested positive for the virus.

Story continues below photograph.

The infection of a Board of Elections employee has prompted the closing of the elections board office.

The Alamance-Burlington school system reported Tuesday that clusters of COVID-19 have been confirmed at E.M. Yoder and Highland elementary schools.  (State public health officials define a cluster as five or more cases of the virus that are confirmed within a 14-day period and are believed to share common link or location.)  Six cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at E.M. Yoder Elementary School; five cases have been confirmed at Highland Elementary School, ABSS announced Tuesday.

All five cases reported at Highland Elementary School were among staff members who tested positive for COVID-19, according to the latest report on clusters in childcare and school settings that the state Department of Health and Human Services released Tuesday.  At E.M. Yoder Elementary School, four staff members and two students tested positive, according to the latest report on clusters from NCDHHS.

ABSS had previously reported that a cluster had been confirmed at South Graham Elementary School.  Nine staff members at South Graham Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19, and that cluster remains active, according to the state’s latest monitoring report, which is updated every Tuesday and Friday.

The report issued by NCDHHS on Tuesday also identified a cluster involving five cases at an unspecified childcare center in Alamance County, which the report lists as “Childcare Network #297.”  That cluster involves one staff member who tested positive and four children who tested positive for COVID-19, according to the state’s report.

Alamance County health department officials are performing contact tracing to notify any individuals who are identified as close contacts (or those believed to have been within six feet, for 15 minutes or longer) of any person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

The state’s latest report on ongoing outbreaks of the virus in congregate living facilities (such as nursing homes, residential care facilities, jails, and similar settings) lists 453 cases of COVID-19 confirmed that have been confirmed at nursing homes, residential care homes, and one “other congregate living setting” in Alamance County.

The latest monitoring report, which NCDHHS also updates every Tuesday and Friday, lists ongoing outbreaks (or two or more cases confirmed within a 28-day period) at 11 locations that include nursing homes, residential care facilities, and one facility within the “other congregate living setting” category.

The latest monitoring report from NCDHHS lists the following outbreaks in congregate living settings and the number of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19:  Alamance Health Care Center (196); Coble Creek (57); Peak Resources Alamance (103); Twin Lakes Moneta Springs Memory Care (5); White Oak Manor (5); Alamance House (5); Blakey Hall (28); Brookdale Burlington AL (30); Springview-Brock Building (3); Springview-Ross Building (11); and a congregate living facility on Mebane Street in Burlington (10).

The “other congregate living setting” category includes homeless shelters and housing for migrant workers, based on a description from NCDHHS.

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