Coffey County reports first COVID-19 death, all cases linked to local nursing home
The Coffey County Health Department reported its first COVID-19 related death on Wednesday.
County health officials said the 90-year-old woman died on March 31. She tested positive on March 30.
"Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family, friends and caregivers," said Coffey County Health Officer John Shell, M.D. "This is the announcement that we'd sincerely hoped would never be necessary.
As of Tuesday, Coffey County reported 16 coronavirus cases. All are linked to the Life Care Center of Burlington.
A nursing home in Coffey County now reports 16 cases of coronavirus.
Eleven residents and seven staff members at the Life Care Center of Burlington have tested positive for COVID-19.
Two of those cases came back positive Sunday and four more Monday.
Three were reported out of Lyon County and one out of Osage County.
The Coffey County Health Administrator Lindsey Payor said it's hard to keep viruses from spreading in nursing home settings.
"I would say that by the time you have your first case's positive test results back, it's already too late. It's already spread to others. It's hard to get contained after that," said Payer.
She said all 18 people who tested positive are in isolation. The health department is working to see who they may have been in contact with.
The Coffey County Health Department reports 14 cases of coronavirus as of Monday.
All cases have been linked to a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Burlington, according to the health department.
Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, identified for the facility as the Life Care Center of Burlington.
The patients range in age from 20 to 90 years and are both men and women.
Health officials say the facility has been and continues to cooperate with CCHD in slowing the spreading.
"We know that containment of this infection is very difficult in care facilities," said the Coffey County Health Department Administrator Lindsay Payer.
CCHD has contacted those who were exposed to the cases and will continue to identify close contacts of each individual who tested positive. The health department will closely monitor the close contacts for 14 days for fever, cough and shortness of breath.