‘It scares us’: Lee’s Summit care facility has largest COVID-19 outbreak in Jackson County

Tracking Coronavirus

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — The coronavirus is spreading exponentially around the metro. The Jackson County Health Department cites 12 separate outbreaks.

The John Knox Village Care Center says it has 33 active COVID-19 cases. 

“As we see the community rate go up, it scares us,” Vice President of Health and Community Services at John Knox Village Care Center, Rodney McBride said. 

Since March, 157 residents living at the care center in Lee’s Summit tested positive for the virus. Thirty died from COVID-19 and COVID-related complications. A majority of those deaths happening since October.

“As we started seeing upticks in the general community, we started seeing upticks here in the care center,” McBride said. 

The facility believes its current outbreak may have started with a resident who receives medical treatment outside the center. 

John Knox Care Center sys it’s following proper COVID-19 guidelines. It’s even brought in air scrubbers and UV lights to try to kill the virus.

State health experts have visited multiple times already this year. 

“Since March, we’ve actually had eight visits, eight surveys, focusing on infection control. Each one of those, they have resulted in zero deficiencies and zero recommendations,” McBride said. 

Ray Dlugolecki, assistant public health director, with the Jackson County Health Department says what’s happening in long-term care facilities, like John Knox Village, falls back on the communituy.

“We as a community are fully responsible for creating the conditions that allow this virus to thrive and perpetuate and ultimately enter our most vulnerable settings,” Dlugolecki said. 

About 225 people live at the care center portion of the John Knox Village campus. Out of 157 who’ve tested positive since March, 53 have recovered.

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