Oak Grove Healthcare Center

Oak Grove Healthcare Center is one of three congregate living facilities in Rutherford County experiencing a coronavirus outbreak.

RUTHERFORDTON — Three nursing facilities in Rutherford County are currently battling coronavirus outbreaks responsible for 80 positive cases and four deaths.

Oak Grove Healthcare Center is among the latest nursing facility to experience a COVID-19 outbreak. Accordius Health at Rutherford and Willow Ridge are the other two nursing homes experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.

Local health officials are attributing Tuesday’s (Sept. 22) update of 41 new coronavirus cases and two more virus-related deaths to three congregate living facilities.

“The outbreak at Oak Grove Healthcare Center has a current total of 13 cases, with 5 being staff and 8 being residents,” the Foothills Health District stated in a press release. “There has been 1 COVID-19 related death from the outbreak at this facility. The outbreak at Accordius Health at Rutherford has a current total of 14 cases, with 12 being staff and 2 being residents. There have been 0 COVID-19 related deaths from the outbreak at this facility. The outbreak at Willow Ridge Rehab and Living Center has a current total of 53 cases, with 14 being staff and 39 being residents. There have been 3 COVID-19 related deaths from the outbreak this facility.”

Conditions at the three facilities has worsened in recent days. As of Friday (Sept. 18), the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported that Oak Grove had three positive cases of the coronavirus and no deaths. All three cases were then limited to staff members with no residents suffering from the infection.

Meanwhile, the outbreak at Willow Ridge Rehabilitation and Living Center expanded to 26 total cases by Friday. That’s 11 more cases than first reported by The Daily Courier on Sept. 16. Eight infections among employees remained unchanged as of Friday (Sept. 18) while the number of residents to contract COVID-19 swelled from seven cases to 18. At the time, there had only been one death at Willow Ridge attributed to the coronavirus.

All three facilities are located in the Rutherfordton area.