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The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is heartbroken to announce the deaths of three Greene County residents from COVID-19. These individuals were associated with long-term care.
Our community lost two women in their 80s and a man in his 90s. All had underlying medical conditions.
The Health Department extends our condolences to loved ones at this tragic time.
“It’s not unexpected to have a number of deaths follow a case surge in long-term care facilities—but that does not make these losses any less tragic,” said Director of Health Clay Goddard.
“COVID-19 doesn’t get into these facilities on its own—it’s sneaking in with workers and visitors. We all have to be vigilant about masking and all of our prevention tools, including one of our most important: staying home when we are sick to protect our neighbors and our vulnerable loved ones.”
Long-term care facilities are required to notify the families of all residents when there is a positive case in the facility as well as when a death occurs.
Institutional settings, like long-term care, are environments where a respiratory illness can easily spread. This can be especially devastating in a long-term care facility, where residents are more susceptible to disease.
There have been 17 deaths from COVID-19 in August. A total of 28 Greene County residents have died from COVID-19.
Long-term care in Greene County
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has worked closely alongside the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and with local long-term care facilities to assist with testing, secure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and to provide guidance on best practices for disease prevention and containment in an institutional setting.
While it is ultimately DHSS that has the regulatory authority, responsibility and oversight of communicable disease containment in long-term care setting, local public health departments are a partner in serving as a liaison to support the state’s disease prevention strategy. This strategy includes facility-wide testing of staff and residents after a positive test of either a resident or staff, and repeated testing until there are no additional cases.
Long-term care facilities are required to report a positive case among staff or residents to DHSS within 24 hours so guidance can be provided on comprehensive testing, isolation and quarantine instructions, personal protective equipment and staffing. State guidance for long-term care facilities can be found here.
Inquiries from the public can be made by contacting the Health Department’s call center at (417) 874-1211 or by email at [email protected].
Please note that the contact number for media inquiries has changed. Media may now contact the Health Department PIO Team by phone at 417-380-2556 or email at [email protected].