City of Independence, Missouri

City of Independence announces second large COVID-19 outbreak in less than a week, encourages public to take precautions

The City of Independence today announced a second large outbreak of COVID-19 cases at a long-term care facility. As of Monday, June 15, 39 cases of COVID-19 had been identified at the Independence Manor, located at 1600 S. Kings Highway. The facility is home to 65 residents, with 65 staff. Independence now has outbreaks in three long-term care and rehabilitation facilities.

“We are clearly seeing the second wave of COVID-19 in the Kansas City metro area, and it is vital that our residents, particularly those in the vulnerable populations, take steps to protect themselves and their families from this disease,” Independence Mayor Eileen Weir said. “The deaths associated with COVID-19 in Jackson County continue to rise. Residents are strongly encouraged to wear a cloth face covering when in public, regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds and, if possible, avoid travel outside of essential business. This is a disease that spreads quickly because many of us will never know if we have it, but it takes all of us to keep our friends, family and neighbors safe.”

The first case was identified at the Independence Manor last week; the remaining 38 cases came back positive over the weekend. The City of Independence is working in collaboration with the Jackson County Health Department and the Missouri State Department of Health and Senior Services to ensure the facility has the tools and resources they need to protect all residents and staff.

“Upon notification that an employee had tested positive for the virus, we immediately tested all our residents and staff,” Corporate Nurse Kristi Mansour, RN, said. “We are doing everything we can to ensure we stop the spread of this within our facility. We continue to be in close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps at this time.”

There are three testing locations available for individuals showing symptoms in eastern Jackson County this week. Individuals are asked to call 816-404-CARE (2273) to register. You can find these locations and further testing site information at jacksongov.org/1190/COVID-19-Test-Sites. Individuals showing symptoms of COVID-19 can also contact their personal physician to obtain testing. At this time, hospitals in our area still have beds available; however, this situation is being closely monitored.

“This is a sobering reminder that this is a long-term engagement for our community,” Incident Commander and Fire Chief Doug Short said. “We have plans in place to provide support to health agencies and facilities in our area throughout this event. While there has been an increase in testing in our area, we are seeing consistent rates of positive cases – meaning more tests are showing more positive cases of the disease. We are working to encourage further testing in our area, specifically for congregate care facilities, and will share info with our residents as soon as possible. In the meantime, please wear cloth face coverings when in public, practice social distancing, regularly wash your hands and limit unnecessary travel.”

The Jackson County Health Department has a detailed dashboard which includes positive cases by zip codes and outbreak locations. You can find it here, jacohd.org/coronavirus.