Three more people have died from COVID-19 in Greene County.
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department says two of them – a man in his 40s and a woman in her 70s – lived in long-term care facilities.
The other victim was a man in his 90s.
All three had underlying health conditions.
Here’s more from the health department:
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is saddened to announce the deaths of three Greene County residents from COVID-19.
Our community lost a man in his 40s who was associated with long-term care; a woman in her 70s who was associated with long-term care; and a man in his 90s. Each had underlying health conditions.
The Health Department extends our condolences to everyone impacted by these losses.
Older adults and people of any age with underlying health conditions may have more severe illness from COVID-19.
It’s vital that we all continue to take steps to protect our most vulnerable.
“This virus unfortunately continues to show us nobody is immune, especially those at increased risk. People with underlying health conditions who had many healthy years ahead of them are dying,” stated Director of Health Clay Goddard. “We owe it to each other to faithfully practice watching our distance, wearing our masks, washing our hands and staying home when we are sick.”
19 COVID-19 deaths have been reported by the Health Department in September.
A total of 49 Greene County residents have died from the virus.
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
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.