25 residents at Hermann senior care facility test positive for COVID-19

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HERMANN - Twenty-five residents at Stonebridge Senior Living have tested positive for COVID-19, while 18 employees who tested positive are in home quarantine, the facility confirmed Monday.

In a news release, Stonebridge said it is working with the Gasconade County Health Department and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

“The heartfelt condolences of our entire staff of caregivers go out to the family and friends of the deceased residents,” said Craig Workman, spokesperson for Stonebridge Hermann, in the release.  “We are continuing to conduct health assessments of all residents multiple times per day to monitor the recovery progress of positives and watch for any symptoms among negatives.  In addition, we have issued N95 respirators to all staff members and additional Personal Protective Equipment to the facility.  Non-essential healthcare personnel are not allowed to enter the facility. We have also completed room moves so that all negative residents are in a different area of our building than positive residents,”

Stonebridge said another round of testing is set for next week for all residents and staff. 

The upcoming fall tourism season raises concerns for some local business owners. 

Jim Allen owns the Stone Hill Overlook Bed and Breakfast. He said he was disappointed in the town's lack of a mask mandate.

"The town is a bit of an embarrassment to many of us," Allen said. "People in town don't wear masks as a general rule."

Hermann Director of Tourism Tammy Bruckerhoff said its up to individual businesses to decide if they will enforce mask usage. She estimated that less than 25 percent of businesses are requiring masks.

Some businesses, however, are increasing the amount of outdoor seating to promote socially distanced dining and entertainment.

"Many of our businesses are implementing more music out on their patios or outdoors where there is opportunity to social distance," Bruckerhoff said.

The annual Octoberfest will likely bring large crowds to town. Allen said the event creates a large portion of the town's revenue.

"We're all hoping that we make it through the middle of November," Allen said. "We'll feel good if that happens."

Despite his concerns, Allen said business has improved in town.

"The business in the town has been way up," Allen said. "It was terrible earlier in March and April, but now there are people all over the place."

His property is getting about 25 percent fewer bookings than it did this time last year, but the increase in sales over the summer has helped recover some losses from the start of the pandemic.

To update yourself on mask requirements and openings for Hermann businesses, you can go to visithermann.com.