Dexter nursing home struck by COVID-19

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Stoddard County Public Health Center has confirmed a “hot spot” of COVID-19 cases at a local nursing home, according multiple statements released Friday.

After a first round of testing, Crowley Ridge Nursing Home has 20 positive cases of COVID-19 among the residents and two among staff members.

“Upon initial indication of positive cases within the nursing home, Crowley Ridge Nursing Home implemented prompt and aggressive testing strategies,” said Stoddard County Health Center Director Ben Godwin.

Five of the residents have been hospitalized due to conditions that may or may not pertain to COVID-19, Godwin said. The remaining 15 residents that have tested positive have been isolated in a single wing of the nursing home with staff dedicated strictly to that wing in an effort to cease any and all contact with the remaining population of the nursing home.

“All negative cases will be tested every 72 hours to assure their safety in this dire situation,” said Godwin. “Currently round two of testing (on the negative cases) has begun and we are currently awaiting results.”

According to statements from the health department, it has not yet been determined how the virus entered the facility and likely never will be, but was through no error by the nursing home or its staff. Godwin said Crowley Ridge was one of the first to take measures against this type of situation in late February and early March.

“Such is just the nature of this virus,” said Godwin. “No matter what measures are taken to prevent it, there are no guarantees something like this will not happen.”

An administrator for Crowley Ridge Nursing Home was unavailable for comment Friday night.

Godwin said the nursing home is in constant contact with the CDC, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and local and state officials.

Godwin said the families of these residents have been notified, as well as the families of the residents not showing symptoms. The families of the patients who tested positive will be kept in constant contact and kept up to date with every change in status, as well as the treatments involved in the care of their loved ones, officials said.

“In the future, any resident exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be moved to a wing of the nursing home strictly dedicated to this type of patient,” said Godwin, “and will be cared for with every precaution to prevent further spread of the virus.”

Godwin said every step has been taken in an effort to remedy this situation.

“Please know the facility has more than enough (personal protective equipment) and other necessary medical equipment, provided them by their company management, national stockpiles, local health and county officials,” said Godwin. “Rest assured that anything and everything that can be done to help those in the nursing home, as well as all residents of Stoddard County, is being done.”

A week ago, Stoddard County had a total of 24 positive tests for COVID-19. Five cases were reported to the state Monday, the first positive test of a county resident in five days. At the end of April there had not been a new case in 12 days.

“Again we ask that all residents of Stoddard County recognize the seriousness of this situation and realize the importance of taking proper safety measures. Hand washing, sanitizing and distancing go a long way.” said Godwin. “And know that simply because someone is not showing symptoms of this virus does not mean that they do not have it and are not spreading it.

“No known (symptomatic) person, employee or otherwise has been allowed into this nursing home, and yet it still appeared,” said Godwin. “Please be safe, be responsible, be smart and take care of yourself, your loved ones and those around you by implementing good social distancing practices.”

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