California assisted living center faces more positive COVID-19 cases

1 month 1 week 6 hours ago Monday, April 27 2020 Apr 27, 2020 Monday, April 27, 2020 1:22:00 PM CDT April 27, 2020 in News
By: Stephanie LaChance, KOMU 8 Reporter

CALIFORNIA — Five residents from Valley Park West Retirement Living Center in Moniteau County have tested positive for COVID-19.

Darrell Hendrickson, environmental public health specialist for Moniteau County Health Center, said they tested all 24 residents on Friday, April 24, after two residents initially tested positive.

Tom Hoeferlin, the owner of Valley Park West, said two of the five residents are hospitalized.

"All of our residents have been locked down in the building since March, and they have been quarantined in their rooms for about 12 days now," he said. "That is when we first found out that the staff member's husband had infected her and when she got the call that her husband has been infected she left the building right away. There has been no interaction between those who are positive and those who are negative."

Henrickson said Valley Park West has been on a lockdown from visitors.

"We're working very closely with the assisted living facility in the community and trying to continue to mitigate the problem there," Hendrickson said. "We know where the first case came from, and it was a staff member."

KOMU asked the health department if it's possible the COVID-19 outbreak is connected to the Burgers' Smokehouse outbreak. Burgers' Smokehouse temporarily shut down on April 20 after several employees tested positive. 

"It is very possible," Hoeferlin said. "We don't really know where our staff's spouses work or what they do for a living. But probably in California, Missouri, Burgers'."

Hendrickson as said it was possible that they are connected, but could not provide further information.

"Yes it is possible [they are connected]," he said. "I can't give you any more information."

Hendrickson said it is now especially important that Moniteau County continues to social distance.

"I am seeing in the community, people letting their guard down and even with day-to-day activities we need to keep pushing because we are not out of the woods yet," he said.

Hoeferlin said they will continue working hard and have been relying on their employees. 

"We have good staff and they are working hard, and I think it is beginning to pay off," he said.

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