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COVID-19 outbreak at Missouri nursing home leaves 20 dead, over 100 infected

COVID-19 outbreak at Missouri nursing home leaves 20 dead, over 100 infected
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An outbreak of COVID-19 in an eastern Jackson County, Mo., nursing home has reportedly left 20 dead and dozens of residents battling the disease.

County health officials report that 157 people at the John Knox Village Care Center have tested positive for COVID-19, and the Kansas City Star reported 20 deaths from the virus occurred at the nursing home.

Seventeen of the deaths occurred this month and three people died last month, the facility's vice president of health and community services told the newspaper.

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“All these folks were somebody’s loved ones, someone’s parents, grandparents, and they really become part of our family as well,” Rodney McBride told the Star. “It’s really been heart wrenching. You just feel like you should have been able to do more, but we’ve done everything and the virus still seems to win.”

Nursing homes, if they are exposed to the virus, can act as a breeding ground for COVID-19, as they house the most vulnerable population: older people with health conditions. 

Jackson County, which includes Kansas City, has reported more than 14,000 cases of the virus since the pandemic began and saw its highest number of new cases in a single day so far, 255, on Monday.

Officials in Kansas City have also moved to place occupancy restrictions on some businesses and have ordered bars and restaurants to close by 10 p.m.

News of the coronavirus-related deaths come after Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced Friday that the state-owned long-term care facility for veterans has experienced 24 deaths from the coronavirus since October. The facility, Thomson-Hood Veterans Center, has had a total of over 80 veterans and 60 staff members test positive for the virus, according to a New York Times report. 

The Midwest has been hit particularly hard in the past few weeks with coronavirus cases, forcing state governors in the region to tighten coronavirus restrictions and mandate masks in public spaces.