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Two senior care facilities in Independence track outbreaks

Mike Genet

With two facility outbreaks recorded last week in Independence, the Jackson County Health Department had, as of Monday morning, recorded 815 cases of COVID-19 in Eastern Jackson County since the beginning of the pandemic.

Recent facility outbreaks are at The Groves off Truman Road in northwest Independence and at Independence Manor Care Center at Kingshighway and Gudgell Road south of 23rd Street.

The Health Department listed Manor Care Center with 39 cases, but the facility as of Monday morning reported 46 cases – 36 residents and 10 staff members, including two residents who are hospitalized. Kristi Mansour, a nurse at Manor, said the facility has 69 residents.

The Groves said it had 36 recorded cases Friday, with no increases over the weekend.

Mansour said Manor noted its first case June 8. A staff member who had been asymptomatic went to a testing station in the county and came back positive. Since then, all residents and staff members have been tested – more than 130 total. The Manor said all positive residents have been located to units off a single hallway in Manor’s facility.

Given that the first known positive case was an asymptomatic patient who tested elsewhere, it would be difficult for Manor to pinpoint a definite source of the outbreak, Mansour said.

The Groves’ first positive case came from a staff member who was turned away from the building after a regular symptom-and-temperature check outside the facility. Groves CEO Dee Shaffer said they later traced the probable source of the outbreak to one asymptomatic staff member.

Shaffer said all staff are educated to call in at least two hours before their shifts if they are ill or have possible COVID-19 symptoms. The Groves said last week it had notified all staff, residents and family of the situation.

The Health Department reported that its positive COVID-19 cases have resulted in 21 deaths and 105 current hospitalizations with 369 presumed recoveries. Recovery cases are those who survived 30 days beyond the initial onset of COVID symptoms. Nearly 17,000 people have been tested, with a 4.83 percent positive rate.

The highest ZIP Code case totals in The Examiner coverage area, according to the Health Department:

• 64055 (southern Independence); 114 cases, or 335 per 100,000 residents.

• 64050 (northern Independence and Sugar Creek); 74 cases, or 331 per 100,000 residents.

• 64052 (southwest Independence); 63 cases, or 313 per 100,000 residents.

• 64075 (central eastern-most area of Jackson County, including Oak Grove); 40 cases, or 319 per 100,000 residents

• 64081 (southern and western Lee’s Summit); 61 cases, or 251 per 100,000 residents

• 64014 (Blue Springs); 48 cases, or 193 per 100,000 residents

The Manor and Groves outbreaks account for the high totals in 64055 and 64050.

The department notes three other facility outbreaks of double-digit cases: 54 cases at the Lee’s Summit Pointe Health and Rehabilitation, 22 at The Parkway Senior Living in Blue Springs and 19 at Oak Grove Nursing & Rehab.

Those numbers have risen slightly, if at all, in recent weeks. The Health Department considers an outbreak concluded after two incubation periods (28 days) since the first date of the last confirmed case.

In Kansas City, the health department has confirmed 1,581 cases through Friday, including 28 deaths and 120 required hospitalizations.

A database maintained by the Mid-America Regional Council shows 6,737 confirmed cases and 217 deaths among the nine-county metro area through Sunday afternoon, with 99,350 people tested.