Congregation, community rallies to support Northampton rest home after cluster of coronavirus cases

— A cluster of coronavirus cases has been identified in Northampton County, 26 in all, with 24 cases at Pine Forest Rest Home in Potecasi. County health leaders did not identify the facility, but Pastor Matthew Dupuy of Galatia Baptist Church in Seaboard said his congregation was providing support to the home, which is not-for-profit.

“They were really short staffed because of people having to stay home because of the virus. We heard about workers giving selflessly of what they had,” Dupuy told WRAL News.

The facility tested 35 people. Twenty-four tested positive, nine negative and two others are still awaiting test results, according to the county health department.

County leaders said the facility has been “on lockdown” to all visitors and family since March 10 as a precaution. Only staff and residents were allowed to come in and out.

“My access to the patients is limited because they’ve been on lockdown for several weeks,” Dupuy said.

Members of the church and those with family members at Pine Forest Rest Home posted to Facebook to ask for help and support for the staff there.

Dupuy said his congregation’s involvement started with an offer to bring food. He then activated the church’s phone tree to get others involved, and expanded the call to all the Baptist churches nearby.

“Within a couple of hours, we had the entire weekend filled with lunch and dinner,” he said. “There are people calling from all over the state wanting to help. I’m mean from Charlotte, from Greensboro, from Raleigh, Baptist churches, Methodist churches, non-denominational churches, different businesses.”

With offers of cash donations coming in, Dupuy saw a way to help struggling local restaurants as well. He funneled donations to them to pay for meals.

“We’re paying them full price for those meals. That’s 21 meals for dinner and for lunch, each one of them. That’s been a big help to those restaurants as well,” he said.

Dupuy had nothing but praise for the staff of Pine Forest Rest Home.

“They’re tired of being locked down,” he said. He had spoken to some by phone.

“I think most of them understand why they have to be locked down, but, you know, it’s been a long few weeks for them. The staff, their spirits have been lifted by what we’re doing as well.”

Published at Sun, 29 Mar 2020 22:34:01 +0000