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27 long-term care facilities in Missouri have coronavirus
Apr 03

ST. LOUIS (AP) - At least 27 long-term care facilities in Missouri have at least one resident or employee who has tested positive for the coronavirus but getting more information is a challenge.

Department of Health and Senior Services spokeswoman Lisa Cox said Thursday that Missouri health officials won't identify the facilities with infections unless those facilities, or local health officials, publicize the information first, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Cox said that naming them would violate state statutes forbidding health officials from identifying patients personally. At last count Thursday, the state had 1,831 cases, up 16% from a day earlier.

Local health officials, though, have chosen to confirm that five residents of a Springfield assisted living facility and two residents at a St. Charles nursing home have died. Six other nursing homes, senior-living and long-term care facilities in the St. Louis area have reported residents or staff testing positive for COVID-19, which is particularly dangerous to older adults.

Cox said county officials aren't bound by the same statute as the state health department.

Clay Goddard, who leads the health department in the Springfield area, said he viewed it "as a duty to warn," adding that in "a global pandemic more information is often times better."

By The Associated Press, Copyright 2019

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