State advises extra precautions to protect workers and residents at assisted living care facilities during COVID-19 outbreak

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Extra measures are in to protect those in long term hospitals and health care facilities from the COVID-19 outbreak.

A person who was housed at the Morningside Assisted Living Center in east Springfield died from the virus Monday.

"This does, however, mark a turning point in our community. We believe that this is evidence of community spread which you may remember is that point where we cannot find a direct tie from a newly diagnosed case to a previous case or to travel related cases," said Clay Goddard, Director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

Four people living at the Morningside Assisted Living Care Facility on the east side of Springfield tested positive for COVID-19.

"We are working closely with the Morningside of Springfield East and the Missouri Department Health and Senior Services to contain the situation," he said.

Dean Linneman, with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services made the trip from Jefferson City to address concerns and deliver personal protection equipment to the onsite staff.

"Staff are continuing to provide care there.We are watching the other residence of this residential care facility to monitor them more closely for any signs or symptoms. We are also asking that twice daily the temperatures of all the staff providing care are taken. We're asking staff to wear masks and take all other precautions necessary related to preventing any spread within this facility," he said.

Linneman said strict guidelines are in place across the state to further protect staff and residents at these long term facilities. No more non-essential visitors are allowed with the exception of end-of-life situations. Those visitors must be screened for symptoms.

Additional training and protective equipment will also be provided when necessary.

"We appreciate their cooperation and all long term hospital and health care facilities throughout the state as we deal with this situation," said Linneman.

We did reach out to Morningside for comment but have not heard back.