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Kansas City nursing home: Employee had fever, tests positive for coronavirus

Kansas City Star - 3/26/2020

Mar. 26--An employee at McCrite Plaza at Briarcliff in the Northland has tested positive for COVID-19, but no other employees or residents show symptoms of the coronavirus, the senior living community said Wednesday.

"The screening systems in place worked and we feel the risk to other staff and residents is minimal," director Cassidy McCrite said in a statement.

"This person has not, physically, been in the building since Friday, March 20, 2020, when they were screened at the door and found to have a fever. They were sent home. They had been home for two days prior to that."

A company spokeswoman said the employee had not worked a shift at McCrite Plaza since March 17.

McCrite said managers followed the company's infectious disease plan when they learned the employee was being tested for the virus.

"We immediately issued a deep clean and disinfection of potentially compromised areas, identified other individuals that may have had contact with this person and directed them to self-quarantine at home, as well as notified the appropriate government agencies," she said in the statement.

"This person is in a role that is not in direct contact with our residents."

McCrite began screening employees on March 12 following procedures spelled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the company said.

Anyone with a fever or showing any other known symptoms of the virus is told to leave and self-quarantine, the company's statement said, and all non-essential staff members have been told to work from home.

"We knew that this virus was going to affect us in some way, which is why we started putting protocols in place weeks ago. All we can do is continue to do our best to minimize the risk to our residents," said McCrite.

Earlier this month McCrite and other senior living facilities closed their doors to visitors after the CDC issued new aggressive recommendations to the nation's long-term care facilities.

Medicare also advised the nation's nursing homes to restrict all visits except for end-of-life situations.

America's older population is at particular risk for suffering the worst consequences of the virus.

Earlier this month, a man in his 70s who had been a resident of the Life Care Center in Kansas City, Kansas, became the area's first coronavirus-related death.

Life Care Centers of America has facilities in 28 states, including seven in Kansas and 10 in Missouri, and owns the nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, where one of the first outbreaks in the country occurred.

Last week, an official at the Wyandotte County facility said test results on 38 residents and staff members came back negative.

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