Stoddard County has first death; Scott County has seventh

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Stoddard County Public Health Center is reporting its first death of a patient at Crowley Ridge Nursing Home resident.

According to a statement from the Health Center, the resident was admitted into the hospital on the morning of May 14 due to showing symptoms of the virus. Prior to leaving and upon arrival to the hospital, the patient was tested for COVID-19 and found to be positive.

The statement said the cause of death has not yet been determined, but for the purpose of the report, they are considering it as COVID-19.

Currently there are 35 cases in the nursing home with six new cases reported on Tuesday. There are 34 active cases with 27 residents testing positive and 7 staff members. Five patients have been hospitalized.

Outside of the nursing home there is just one active case with 28 other positive cases having recovered.

Ben Godwin, Stoddard County Public Health Center administrator, said generally when an outbreak in a nursing home takes place, residents are only tested as they begin to exhibit COVID related symptoms.

“In the case on Crowley Ridge Nursing Home, immediately upon discovery of the initial case, the entire home was tested, residents and staff, as a safety measure in an attempt to limit the spread,” Godwin said. “As a result of immediate testing (of everyone), we saw an initial spike in cases, and this is the reason we are seeing such high numbers to begin with as compared to other nursing home situations.”

Godwin said by doing things this way, Crowley Ridge has been able to identify positive cases and isolate them from residents that, hopefully, aren’t exposed.

“It is true we are gradually getting more cases, but such is the nature of this virus,” Godwin said. “Some may not test as positive initially even though they may be carrying the virus.”

He added another possible reason for the increasing cases is the testing method.

“The machine being used for the testing (an Abbott) is the best machine available at the moment, however it still reports a certain percentage of ‘false negatives,’” Godwin said. “This means, even though someone might actually have the virus, the machine could still report the test result as a negative.”

Crowley Ridge is testing everyone according to Godwin, to insure they catch anyone who might have slipped through the tracks or who contracted the virus after initial testing. They are continuing to test the negative patients and doing it on a regular basis.

“Please know, everyone is doing everything they can to get us through these difficult times,” Godwin said.

Scott County, who reported their seventh death on Monday, has 86 cases with 16 of those active. There have been 63 Scott County residents who have recovered from COVID-19.

There were two more positive COVID-19 cases reported in Mississippi County Monday morning, bringing the total positive cases to 49. Of the 49 positive cases, 43 of those are inmates at the Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston.

However, according to a statement from the Mississippi County Health Department, they are expecting to see an increase in numbers as they continue to see less and less people practicing social distancing.

The New Madrid County Health Center is reporting no current active cases. New Madrid County has had 14 positive COVID-19 cases with 13 recovered and one death.

The Dunklin County Health Department is reporting 25 positive cases with four of those active. There have been 19 recoveries and two deaths in Dunklin County.

The Pemiscot County Health Center reported two new cases late Monday afternoon, giving Pemiscot County 70 positive cases. Currently there are 33 active cases and three hospitalized while there has been three deaths and 34 released from isolation.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 135 new positive COVID-19 cases Tuesday afternoon with 11 additional deaths. To date, Missouri has had 11,080 positive tests and 616 deaths. There have been over 154,000 Missourians tested.

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