Health department attempting to stop potential COVID-19 spread linked to Lee’s Summit party

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The Jackson County Health Department is trying to stop a potential COVID-19 outbreak stemming from a party in the Lakewood neighborhood of Lee’s Summit. 

A drive through testing originally for people who were at the party, opened up to the community as well. 

“I was really surprised because I thought it was going to be a way smaller intimate party,” said Ashley Jones, whose daughter was at the party in Lee’s Summit.  

She is one of over a hundred teenagers who attended the party July 10. 

Five people who were there have tested positive for COVID-19 and officials fear there are many more people who contracted the virus and could be spreading it throughout the community.

“As we can see due to these cases that popped up there’s a reason we have these rules in place,” said Kayla Parker with the Jackson County Health Department. “Under phase 2.5 that we are in, gatherings over 100 people are prohibited and so this party was in violation of that.”

For violating Jackson County’s COVID-19 orders, the people responsible for the party may be penalized by the health department,  but what and if anything will happen has not yet been determined.

“It was not fun it was pretty bad,” said Elizabeth Luce, who was also at Monday’s testing.

Luce is still feeling the affects of her severe case of COVID-19 that spread through her family. She has no affiliation to the Lakewood party but was at Monday’s testing hoping her post-ilness test is negative so she can see her children again. Luce has a warning for teenagers and parents who are not taking the virus seriously.

“I honestly thought that I was never going to have it and was shocked when I did,” Luce said. “Everyone can get it so don’t think you’re invincible because anyone can get it.”

For the most part, the teenagers at the party are 14-16 years old. Students at Truman High School, Blue Springs, Blue Springs South, Grain Valley, Lee’s Summit North and Lee’s Summit West. 

The health department is having a difficult time tracing the cases because there was not a guest list. Instead relying on word of mouth to help stop this potential outbreak. 

“I actually didn’t find out until the news story broke and and I was just really disappointed,” Jones said. “Honestly I was just disappointed that people weren’t taking it more seriously. Obviously my kiddo could’ve called me as well but I was disappointed that the parents allowed it.”

Testing will continue Wednesday and Thursday. Schedule an appointment by clicking here.

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