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The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is saddened to announce the deaths of four Greene County residents from COVID-19.
Our community lost a woman in her 90s who was associated with long-term care; a woman in her 70s; a man in his 60s; and a man in his 50s. All had underlying health conditions.
The Health Department extends our condolences to loved ones at this difficult time.
“These deaths are again a sad reminder that COVID-19 is not over, and that while some of us may think we won’t be impacted, there are no guarantees with this disease. At the very least, we owe it to each other—and especially those at high risk—to faithfully practice watching our distance, wearing our masks and washing our hands,” said Director of Health Clay Goddard.
Thirteen COVID-19 deaths have been reported by the Health Department in September. A total of 43 Greene County residents have died from COVID-19.
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
Long-term care facilities are required to notify the families of all residents when there is a positive case in the facility as well as when a death occurs.
Institutional settings, like long-term care, are environments where a respiratory illness can easily spread. This can be especially devastating in a long-term care facility, where residents are more susceptible to disease.
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.
Inquiries from the public can be made by contacting the Health Department’s call center at (417) 874-1211 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the contact number for media inquiries has changed. Media may now contact the Health Department PIO Team by call or text at 417-380-2556 or email at email@example.com.
Springfield-Greene County Health Department “Helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.” health.springfieldmo.gov | facebook.com/SGCHD | twitter.com/SGCHD
417-864-1658 227 E. Chestnut Expressway Springfield, MO 65802