(STANBERRY, Mo.) The Tri-County Health Department announced Monday a seventh and eighth death due to COVID-19 in Gentry County.
The residents were women, one was in her 70s and the other in her 90s.
Worth County has four positive cases and is also listed on DHSS’s congregate facility map as a county with one outbreak.
DeKalb has five positive cases of COVID-19, according to Tri-County data.
The Tri-County Health Department provides health services for Dekalb, Gentry, and Worth counties. According to county data, 66 people have tested positive, 18 have recovered, and eight people have died. About 6,600 people live in Gentry County. The county population spread out in the rural cities of Albany, Stanberry, and King City among others.
Gentry County has reported a total of 54 positive cases of COVID-19 and eight deaths, according to the Tri-County Health Department. Gentry County’s first death due to COVID-19 was a woman in her 90s, according to a May 26 press release on Tri-County's Facebook page.
All 8 deaths linked to Stanberry nursing home
Tri-County Administrator Lilli Parsons said Monday all eight deaths and about 40 of the 54 cases are linked to one facility in Stanberry but did not release the facility’s name. She added the home began "facility-wide testing" on May 21, shortly after the first positive case was identified on May 18.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data on June 4, identifying Stanberry's Pine View Manor as the home of an outbreak. According to the CMS data at least 24 residents have tested positive, seven residents are suspected positive, and four residents have died. The nursing home also reported to the federal government that seven staff have tested positive and one staff member is suspected as a positive case.
The federal data is slated to be updated this week.
No epidemiological investigations into earlier May deaths
The two latest COVID-19 victims were elderly women and had only experienced mild symptoms, Parsons said.
"You have to remember that this is a very vulnerable population with underlying conditions," she said in response to questions about whether more Pine View Manor residents are at risk of becoming gravely ill.
KQ2 also asked whether there would be any epidemiological investigations into deaths at Pine View Manor that occurred prior to the facility-wide testing on May 18, Parsons replied, "Probably not".
She also said she does not believe the state requires epidemiological investigations in that circumstance.
Limited state data available
The CMS data goes beyond the state data, by disclosing the names, locations, cases, deaths, and targeted inspection reports for each nursing home.
In May, Missouri began collecting and publishing some information on COVID-19 cases in “Congregate living facilities”, meaning a facility where persons reside and share common spaces with other residents including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, dorms, and jails.
The State health department publishes a map of active cases at congregate living facilities. The map shows how many facilities, in each county, have at least one resident or staff member with an active case of COVID-19 at the time of reporting. The state does not disclose the facility’s name or the number of positive cases.
Missouri updated its reporting requirements for congregate facilities on May 18. The update requires nursing homes and facilities to report deaths to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services within 24-hours.
DHSS collects that data and publishes some of it for the public on its COVID-19 dashboard but it is far short of a complete picture of outbreaks at community living facilities.