Outbreak of COVID-19 in Shelby County Nursing Home; halting reopening of facility to public

by Benjamin C. Nelson

SHELBY COUNTY, MO -- On Friday, July 31st, the Shelby County Health Department announced 15 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the county. The new cases came after a baseline COVID testing was administered by Salt River Community Care. In a public statement released by the nursing home on Friday, Salt River stated, "We completed our baseline COVID testing on Tuesday. Unfortunately, as a result of this, we have some staff and residents that have tested positive. These people are being quarantined. They are all asymptomatic. We will be stopping our outside visits at this time and we will not be moving to Phase 2. We will likely be retesting on Monday. Thank you for all the community support throughout this process."

Shelby County Health Department is working closely with the Missouri State Department of Health and Senior Services in doing contact tracing; those who could have been exposed to the virus will be contacted by the health department and provided with appropriate guidance to monitor for possible symptoms. Additionally, Audrey Gough (director of the health department) emphasized to the public to wear a mask while in public and to maintain a proper social distance. "The best tips for prevention are still social distancing, wearing a mask when in public and proper handwashing. Staying home if you are sick and avoiding close contact with others will help us limit any spread," stated Gough.