Springfield-Greene County Health Department reports 2 more deaths of COVID-19

A health worker takes a sample for a PCR test for the COVID-19 coronavirus at a hospital in Coslada, Spain, Monday, April 20, 2020.
A health worker takes a sample for a PCR test for the COVID-19 coronavirus at a hospital in Coslada, Spain, Monday, April 20, 2020.(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 2:29 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced the deaths of two Greene County residents from COVID-19.

Health leaders say the victims include a woman in her 70s and a woman in her 90s, each associated with long-term nursing facilities. Both suffered from underlying health conditions.

The health department reports 27 COVID-19 deaths in September. Health leaders report 57 Greene County residents have died from the virus since the pandemic.

Who is at risk

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified some groups as at higher risk for severe health outcomes from COVID-19 as opposed to others.

Those populations include older adults and individuals with conditions that affect their heart, lungs, kidneys or immune system. This includes but is not limited to: cancer, chronic kidney disease, lung disease, obesity, serious heart conditions and diabetes.

Other populations that may be at higher risk for severe symptoms include people who smoke, have asthma, are pregnant or have high blood pressure.

Many in our community have these underlying health issues that could potentially put them at greater risk for COVID-19—for instance, 16% of Greene County residents are 65 or older; 33% are considered obese; and 11% have asthma.

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.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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