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The COVID-19 epidemic in the Northland nursing home took 3 lives



KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Three people died as a result of an outbreak of COVID-19 in a nursing home in Northland.

The Kansas City, Missouri Department of Health announced Wednesday that the outbreak at Garden Valley Health Center, 8575 N. Granby Ave., began around Sept. 15.

It has since grown to include 98 COVID-19-positive patients at the 156-bed facility, as well as 44 staff members who tested positive.

The KCMO Health Department said there were three known deaths as a result of the outbreak.

A spokesman for the department said the state was monitoring the situation in the Garden Valley and required regular home testing in addition to better infection control measures.

Fred Strathman, a spokesman for the parent company of Garden Valley CommuniCare, said the COVID-1

9 protocols have been in place since March.

Some measures include limited attendance and regular staff reviews, Stratman said.

In Garden Valley, Strathman said, there is an isolation wing for patients who test positive and observation units for those who may have been exposed and await test results.

Many patients are treated internally, and the company has invested in personal protective equipment, according to Stratmann.

The son of one of the residents of the facility, who asked 41 Action News to conceal his identity, fearing that his father would be avenged by the facility, said the calls his family received from Garden Valley were inadequate.

“Actually, he writes nothing but numbers, and the numbers are quite disturbing,” the man said.

So far, his father has tested negative for COVID-19, but wants to get clear answers from staff.

“Communication is the key,” the man said, “and so far they get an F for communication because you call there, it goes to voicemail.”

Stratman said they understand that families are disappointed.

“But the reality is that we have staff and we need them to take care of it,” Stratman said. “And you know, it’s an unfortunate priority for us that we can’t answer every phone call on time, and that’s frustrating for families. But we’re doing the best we can in these circumstances.”

At other CommuniCare facilities, Strathman said, they have seen somewhere between 30% and 50% of patients who test positive are asymptomatic.

Garden Valley has one star rating with the Medicare and Medicaid Service Centers.

The last check took place in February and led to 30 citations, which were subsequently corrected.

Previous inspections revealed three deficiencies related to infection control, which were also addressed.

Since 2018, the facility has faced two fines totaling about $ 65,000.

The outbreak comes as concerns about patients in nursing homes and long-term care grow as cases of COVID-19 appear to begin a third jump since the onset of the pandemic.

Earlier this week, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced this 10 people were killed from COVID-19 as part of a hearth in a nursing home in Norton County, Kansas.

Locally, Johnson County, Kansas, Department of Health and the Environment continues to monitor several active COVID-19 clusters on its COVID-19 control panel. The largest outbreaks currently in the county are 65 cases in the Infinity Park Post Acute and Rehab and 50 cases in the Garden Garden of Overland Park.




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