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COVID-19 kills 10 at Norton nursing facility

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 8:21 PM CDT
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NORTON, Kan. (KWCH) - The Norton County Health Department announced Monday a COVID-19 outbreak at a privately owned facility that has led to the deaths of ten residents.

The health department said all 62 residents at Andbe Home have tested positive for the virus. Of the 62 residents, 10 have died, one is hospitalized and the remaining 51 are being cared for at the nursing home. Some staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 and the remaining staff members are currently being tested, according to the health department.

The Norton County Hospital conducted the testing of residents and staff at the nursing home facility. The tests were then sent to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) for results.

The health department said steps are being taken to prevent any further outbreak including quarantining residents in their rooms and not allowing outside visitors into the facility.

PRESS RELEASE

Posted by Norton County Health Department and Home Health on Monday, October 19, 2020

The latest report from KDHE shows 340 COVID-19 cases in Norton County. The report of all 62 residents at Andbe Home testing positive for the virus among the local outbreak has made national news.

“It’s sad that’s how we have to make national headlines. We have so many amazing things, amazing people in this community,” said Dana Paxton, general manager of the community’s newspaper, The Norton Telegram.

Paxton learned the news from the nursing facility on the KDHE website. She said the situation hitting the nursing facility so hard hits home as the virus is more visible in the community.

“For us to make national news on such a tragedy, it’s said,” Paxton said. “I just hope we can get through it without many more losses.”

Tuesday evening, the City of Norton announced that the city office is closed to the public until further notice as the community deals with COVID-19.

A spokesperson for Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s office issued the following statement in response to the situation with COVID-19 cases in Norton.

“After being informed of the COVID-19 outbreak at the nursing home facility in Norton on Saturday, Governor Kelly immediately directed the Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) to provide resources to the county to help mitigate the outbreak. Since then, the state has provided personal protective equipment, test kits, ventilators, Remdesivir and other additional resources. KDHE has been in regular communication with the Norton County Health Department and Norton County Hospital to help provide guidance and coordinate the response to prevent any further outbreak.”

“Governor Kelly remains concerned about the rising rates of COVID-19 in rural Kansas communities, and strongly encourages counties to adopt her order mandating that residents wear protective masks whenever they are in public and unable to social distance.”

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