JOHNSON COUNTY — An additional COVID-19-related death in the agency's reporting jurisdiction has been reported by Johnson County Community Health Services. The death, which occurred Thursday, Sept. 24, is the fifth reported by the health agency and the second to occur within a week.
The most recent death was of an 84-year-old resident that was being treated for COVID-19-related symptoms and resided in a long-term care facility. The death is the second in the span of week that occurred in an elderly person that resided at a long-term care facility. A spokesman for the county health agency declined to say at which long-term facility the deaths occurred, citing privacy concerns.
"We do not disclose the exact location since COVID-19 has started in our county back in March," JCCHS Community Outreach Coordinator Kerri Lewis said. "We felt in those situations where it's a long-term care facility, that they do their own reporting in regards to the deaths that they're experiencing. We haven't, from the start, ever disclosed locations where active cases happen within any business or organization. With deaths, we feel like that makes it too close to being able to determine who the person could be at that point."
Lewis said the two recent COVID-19 deaths on Sept. 22 and Sept. 24 occurred at two separate long-term care facilities. There are 10 long-term care facilities are under JCCHS's jurisdiction.
Lewis said whether there is an "outbreak" at a facility depends on how many patients and how many beds are available at the facility.
"It would all be determined on how many (patients) they have registered in their facility," Lewis said.
To date, there have been seven overall deaths related to COVID-19 in the county. While five of the deaths have been reported as directly related to COVID-19 complications by the county health agency, an additional two deaths were reported by The Arbors at Harmony Gardens — Memory Care Assisted Living by Americare, 539 E. Young Ave., Warrensburg. According to operational leadership at the facility, two COVID-19-related deaths occurred at its facility Aug. 23 and Aug. 25.
JCCHS recommends all Johnson County residents stay home when not feeling well, stating the mildest symptoms can spread and become more severe for others. In addition, the JCCHS recommends those suspecting they have COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should call a health care provider to let them know before seeking care.
For more information, visit Johnsoncountyhealth.org or call the State of Missouri COVID-19 Hotline at (877) 435-8411.