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'We are prepared' | Shoppers sprint to stores, hospital hauls in bottled water as boil-water advisory continues in Burlington Friday

Alamance Regional Medical Center is bringing in 10,000 gallons of bottled water Friday to use for bathing, hand washing, and food preparation.

BURLINGTON, N.C. — Shoppers are sprinting to stores and a hospital is hauling in bottled water as the Burlington area continues its boil-water advisory Friday.

The notice to boil water before use stems from E.coli bacteria that was found at a specific location in the City of Burlington water system. The city said the positive sample came from an outdoor spigot of a home near the downtown area. 

The city said they believe this to be an isolated incident after samples taken within the water system immediately upstream and downstream of the spigot showed no bacteria.

Thursday, the city said out of an abundance of caution, customers should boil their drinking water until further notice. 

The notice prompted people to hit the stores and buy bottled water starting Thursday night. Shoppers at the Walmart in Burlington Friday morning said there was still water left on the shelves before noon.

"We were out yesterday trying to get Starbucks, trying to get food, the Chick-fil-A was closed, the Starbucks was closed," Keith Napolitano said, "We didn’t think anything of it. We got up this morning to run our errands. We were going to take my grandmother out to lunch and everything was still closed." 

Napolitano said when talking to his mom later, she filled him in on the boil water advisory and told him to get to the store. 

"Saying, 'Hey, go get water because your dad's Costco in Greensboro is out' So apparently it’s a big deal. Apparently, people are freaking out about it," said Napolitano. 

At Alamance Regional Medical Center, an 18-wheeler stacked with bottled water arrived Friday morning. 

The hospital received 4,000 gallons Thursday from Cone Health's Emergency Management Warehouse that the healthcare provider keeps stocked in case of emergencies. 

Friday, 10,000 gallons will be delivered to the medical center from LeBleu and distributed among ARMC, The Village at Brookwood retirement community, and Cone Health Medical Group providers in the area.

"We will do baths using bottled water, all handwashing techniques will be using bottled water and our food preparation will be using water brought in from the outside, so it has caused us to really think through our operational process but everything's been normal," said Alamance Regional Medical Center CEO and President Mark Gordon. 

Cone Health said the boil-water advisory never caused a gap in patient care.

The hospital system will make a decision Friday afternoon on whether to bring in more bottled water for this weekend. 

"We are here to serve the community and everything’s going along as normal," Gordon said. 

RELATED: 800 businesses affected after city of Burlington issues boil water notice due to E. coli found during testing

The city of Burlington said they started flushing water mains Thursday afternoon, including the water line at the impacted apartment and its internal plumbing. 

In the spigot, about 10 feet of black decaying material was found, according to the city, describing it to be like bugs and insects.

A city spokesperson said the pipe has been replaced and tested and they’ve chlorinated the service line to the apartment.

The Alamance County Health Department notified the Alamance Burlington School System Thursday night that it wouldn't be able to serve the usual grab-and-go breakfast and lunch Friday. 

A spokesperson with the district said the restriction also impacts any community summer camp programs or meal sites that the Child Nutrition program provides meals for.

A post on social media notified parents. 

Athletic directors were also told to use only bottled water and purchased ice, not water or ice on campus until further notice.

ABSS summer school only operates Monday through Thursday. 


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