An outbreak in a congregate living setting is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases. NCDHHS displays the number of facilities with ongoing outbreaks by county on the data dashboard. The COVID-19 Ongoing Outbreaks in Congregate Living Settings Report lists facilities with an ongoing outbreak.
Beginning June 13, 2022, NCDHHS implemented changes to reporting of ongoing outbreaks in congregate living facilities. In accordance with the new outbreak definition, an outbreak is considered over if there have been no new cases in the setting for 14 days (previously 28 days). This change was made to reflect data suggesting shorter incubation periods for COVID-19 and to align with the definition used by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Once an outbreak is over, it is no longer reported as an “ongoing outbreak.”
COVID-19 Ongoing Outbreaks in Congregate Living Settings Report will be updated every Tuesday by 4 p.m.
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COVID-19 Outbreaks and Clusters
Congregate Living Setting
A congregate living setting is a facility where people live for an extended period in a shared space, either in individual units with a shared building and common spaces, or with shared rooms or units. Because people are living in close proximity, these are settings that many states monitor for the spread of COVID-19.
NCDHHS tracks cases, deaths and outbreaks in congregate living settings: these include nursing homes (nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities) which provide nursing or convalescent care; residential care facilities can include adult care homes, family care homes, multi-unit assisted housing, group homes; correctional facilities such as state prisons and local jails; and others such as Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID) homes.
NC COVID has a field to note whether a case or death was in a congregate living setting. Often, after a case is reported in NC COVID, a case investigation is conducted, at which point the person is identified as being in a congregate living setting. At that point, the case or death is then marked as being part of a congregate living setting. In some situations, the congregate living setting proactively reports cases and deaths to the LHD or state, and so the case or death is entered with information that it was part of a congregate living setting.
“Missing” represents the number of cases and deaths that are missing congregate living setting information. All numbers are preliminary and may change as cases are investigated.
Data within the Congregate Living Settings include cases and deaths in both staff and residents. NCDHHS also tracks the number of outbreaks in congregate living settings. An outbreak in a congregate living setting is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases. NCDHHS displays the number of facilities with ongoing outbreaks by county on the data dashboard. Data include cases that are part of the ongoing outbreaks as well as cases associated with these settings that are not part of an ongoing outbreak. The COVID-19 Ongoing Outbreaks in Congregate Living Settings Report lists facilities with an ongoing outbreak which is posted twice a week.
An outbreak is considered over once there is not evidence of sustained transmission - this means 28 days after the last case began having symptoms, or the date they were tested if they didn’t have symptoms. Once an outbreak is over, it is no longer reported as an “ongoing outbreak.”
Cases and deaths in congregate living settings are the total number of molecular (PCR) positive and antigen positive COVID-19 cases and deaths among residents or staff of the congregate living settings that is regulated by NCDHHS. Time is required to determine whether a given COVID-19 case or death is associated with a congregate living setting, gather follow-up information, and enter it into NC COVID. These cases or deaths could be part of an ongoing outbreak or could be in a congregate living setting that is not experiencing an ongoing outbreak.
Outbreaks in congregate living settings are the number of ongoing outbreaks in congregate living settings.
Data are preliminary, and these numbers and settings are subject to change as more information is obtained during cluster investigations.