PINEVILLE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Health officials announced Thursday that nearly 60 people tested positive for COVID-19 due to an outbreak at Atrium Health Pineville, 10 days after FOX 46 asked them about a potential outbreak and eight days after Atrium officials revealed the situation to the state.
North Carolina State health officials wrote on Thursday, August 12, that 50 employees at the Atrium Pineville location had gotten COVID-19. Of those, 35 were vaccinated. On top of that, nine patients all caught the virus.
Atrium officials released a pre-recorded video to FOX 46 on that Thursday, 10 days after we started asking about the outbreak.
On August 2nd, Fox 46 employees emailed Atrium about a reported outbreak at the Pineville Hospital. We had gotten an anonymous tip. At the time, Atrium officials emailed back, writing, “As has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, we do not provide any specifics about cases or potential cases within our system,” wrote Dan Fogleman.
So, we turned to the Mecklenburg County Health Department on August 3rd, asking about the supposed outbreak. Tammy Thompson, the Public Information Specialist with the Mecklenburg County wrote, “No one is available to comment.”
However, we e-mailed back, writing that if this was true, it’s“a public health issue,” wrote FOX 46 News Director, Casey Clark.
Mecklenburg County Health officials responded with, “There is nothing further to share,” wrote Andrew Fair, the Deputy Public Information Director with Mecklenburg County.
Fast forward to the video released by Atrium on August 12, ten days after Fox 46 started asking questions.
Atrium officials didn’t talk about any specifics of the outbreak.
However, state health officials confirmed to FOX 46 that they were first notified about the outbreak on August 4th, two days after we asked Atrium about it.
Mecklenburg County Health officials told FOX 46 that they were notified about the outbreak on August 7th, four days after we asked them about it.
And Atrium officials aren’t answering questions. On Friday, they had scheduled a media zoom to cover a different topic and did not take the opportunity to address the outbreak.
In an e-mail, when we pressed for answers, Atrium officials wrote, “The information we shared yesterday is all the information we will have available to share,” wrote Fogleman.