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Visitor restrictions return to Monett nursing home as COVID-19 cases increase in Barry, Lawrence counties

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 4:50 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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MONETT, Mo. (KY3) -As cases of COVID-19 rise in southwest Missouri, nursing homes and assisted living facilities may have to change their visitation policies.

Lacoba Nursing home in Monett announced such a change Wednesday. After seeing a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases in both Barry and Lawrence County, there will now be a restricted visitation policy for the second time due to the pandemic.

Barry and Lawrence County have had an uptick in COVID-19 cases. In the last week alone, Lawrence County has had 85 new cases.

“This time, about a month ago, we had about 13 active cases. Today we were up to about 85, so it’s definitely every week gets more intense,” said Tana Bradshaw, Lawrence County Health Department Educator.

Lacoba serves both Barry and Lawrence counties. In a Facebook post, the nursing home stated that they have also seen a rise in both COVID positive staff residents claiming.

“The positivity rate we are seeing in this area is unprecedented even at the height of the pandemic,” said Bradshaw.

Due to the high positivity rate, the nursing home is restricting in-person visits. It will continue until residents test two consecutive weeks with no positives and the county positivity rate falls below 10%. Other assisted care facilities say they may also have to restrict visitors.

As numbers increase, we will start to pull back on those restrictions on visitors and outings [compared to] what they have been the last few months,” said Mary Howlett, owner of Country Side Care Center.

For now, they are doing everything to keep their residents safe. So far Country Side Care Center has had no cases of COVID-19.

“We have visitor policies in place where they are screened before they ever come into the facility,” said Howlett. “We make sure they have not been out of the country, they’ve not been in close contact with anyone with COVID, or symptoms of COVID. They have their temperature checked, they are required to wear a mask at all times and they are limited on where they can go inside the facility also.”

With the rise of the Delta variant, health officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated or wear a mask.

“I’m sure people are tired of hearing this, but it’s the same prevention efforts we’ve had all along. First and foremost, please get vaccinated if you are able to,” said Bradshaw.

Right now in Lawrence County, just 26% of adults are fully vaccinated in Barry county 31%.

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