Nursing home residents in Monett evacuate due to asbestos, sheltered at former CoxHealth Hospital

Published: Jan. 23, 2021 at 8:31 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2021 at 8:44 PM CST
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MONETT, Mo. (KY3) - Nursing home residents from Bentonview Park Health and Rehab were evacuated Friday after a remodeling contractor accidentally pulled up flooring containing asbestos at the facility.

Health leaders and emergency responders helped 27 patients move to a temporary shelter, which was set up in the former CoxHealth Monett building.

David Compton, director of the Barry County Office of Emergency Management, says a contractor was working on construction, then pulled out flooring that turned out to be asbestos while remodeling. He says the asbestos had been covered up and was “not a threat.”

The Barry County Office activated an emergency operations plan around 5:15 p.m. Friday. Staff from the Barry Lawrence EMS, Mercy EMS, Cox Hospital, Mercy Hospital, and Monett Fire Department helped the residents evacuate and move to their temporary shelter.

“The group immediately and without hesitation came together to respond to the needs of these residents,” said Compton.

A certified and licensed asbestos abatement contractor visited the Bentonview Park Health and Rehab facility Saturday, taking additional environmental samples. Abatement and repairs are expected to begin Tuesday and last at least four weeks. Once completed, Bentonview Park Health and Rehab will initiate a coordinated plan for residents to return the facility.

“The health and safety of our residents and staff is our primary focus, and the decision to move the residents was made quickly and without incident,” said Jen Ryan, Bentonview spokesperson. “We look forward to the residents return to Bentonview once the renovation is complete, and most importantly, we look forward to welcoming our residents and staff back to the community they know and love” said Ryan of the anticipated return.”

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