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3 residents dead, staff member hospitalized amid COVID-19 outbreak at Jefferson City Manor

August 17, 2020 at 10:00 p.m. | Updated August 18, 2020 at 10:25 a.m.

The News Tribune is offering this article free to all readers because it includes information important to public safety and health in our community.


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More than half of the residents at Jefferson City Manor have tested positive for COVID-19, and three have died as the nursing home faces a coronavirus outbreak.

JMS Senior Living, which owns the nursing home facility at 1720 Vieth Drive, confirmed in a news release Monday that 39 residents and 28 employees at Jefferson City Manor tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week.

"Three of these residents have died from underlying causes, and the remaining 36 are being cared for in isolation in their rooms. One employee has been hospitalized, and the other 27 are recovering in quarantine at home and will not return to work until they meet the CDC return-to-work guidelines for health care providers," according to the news release.

"More than 150 residents and staff were tested last week, and results were received beginning on August 13. The results were reported promptly to the Cole County Health Department, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and to all infected residents and their families," the news release notes.

Cole County Health Department Director Kristi Campbell said Monday the Health Department is doing contact tracing.

Given visitor restriction protocols, Campbell said, the department is working with staff to get the needed information for contact tracing.

She said the facility is working with the state on testing.

State Health Department spokeswoman Lisa Cox said Monday all residents and staff at Jefferson City Manor have been tested.

"The first positive result was received on Aug. 9," Cox added.

CEO Ben Scheulen said in JMS Senior Living's news release: "The health and safety of our residents and staff is our highest priority, and we are working diligently to continue meeting all the medical and personal care needs of all our residents and contain the spread of coronavirus in our facility. We are staying in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps under current circumstances.

"For example, we have designated certain staff to care only for COVID-19 positive residents. We have also hired an outside contractor to supplement our normal cleaning services and provide a special cleansing of all common areas of our building.

"Additionally, we have suspended all non-essential outside visitors from entering our facility, canceled all group activities and closed our dining rooms to meet social distancing guidelines. Further, we are working with state and local agencies as well as our sister facilities around the state to provide adequate staffing levels and supplies of personal protective equipment."

Though visiting is limited, family members are encouraged to connect with their loved ones through video chat, phone calls, text messages and social media, according to Friday's letter to residents and family members, shared online.

Some outside visits may be scheduled in advance; when those arrangements are made, "proper precautions must be adhered to by all parties."

JMS Senior Living staff will attempt to contact loved ones directly if a resident is diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspected to have it, according to the letter.

Other cases at local nursing facilities

Jefferson City Manor is not the only assisted living facility in Jefferson City where COVID-19 cases have been reported recently.

Three employees at Heisinger Bluffs Lutheran Senior Services tested positive Aug. 8-14, according to Lutheran Senior Services' website.

A staff member at the St. Joseph's Bluffs neighborhood of Heisinger Bluffs tested positive during the same week.

"COVID-19-positive staff members are immediately notified and advised to quarantine at home. They are not allowed to return to work until they are symptom-free and no longer potentially contagious," according to the LSS website.

"We have been conducting weekly universal testing throughout our St. Joseph's Neighborhood Care Center. Residents and staff members who have not previously tested positive for COVID-19 are tested," the website notes.

No residents were reported to have tested positive at either part of Heisinger Bluffs last week.

Since May 1, a total of four Heisinger Bluffs employees have tested positive - the additional one to the three last week has not recovered, either - and at St. Joseph's Neighborhood, one resident and a total of six staff have tested positive. The resident and the other five staff have since recovered.

One staff member among the skilled nursing staff of StoneBridge Senior Living's Oak Tree facility in Jefferson City has tested positive and is currently not working, according to StoneBridge's website Monday.

The same is true of one skilled nursing staff member at StoneBridge Senior Living's Owensville facility.

The company reported no residents or other staff have tested positive at any of its local facilities, which besides Oak Tree in Jefferson City includes Adams Street and Villa Marie, as well as a facility in Westphalia.

As of Monday, when data was most recently updated, the Cole County Health Department had reported 148 active cases of COVID-19, among 585 total since the pandemic began. Two Cole County residents have died as a result of the coronavirus, and 435 have recovered.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, muscle aches, fatigue, shortness of breath and a cough, as well as runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and other symptoms, according to the CDC.


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