First confirmed South County case: State group home resident has coronavirus

The+St.+Louis+County+Department+of+Public+Health+sent+this+information+and+more++to+the+South+County+Habilitation+Center+and+every+other+long-term+care+facility+in+the+county.+

The St. Louis County Department of Public Health sent this information and more to the South County Habilitation Center and every other long-term care facility in the county.

By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor

In what marks the first officially confirmed case of coronavirus in South County, a resident of a state-run home for the developmentally disabled tested positive Sunday.

A resident of the South County Habilitation Center, 2312 Lemay Ferry Road, received word of a positive test Sunday, Missouri state officials said. The resident is currently in isolation at the center.

The case is one of a growing number in the region and state to affect residents of group homes or nursing homes.

Although health-care workers and residents have said on social media that other cases exist, the case is also the first officially confirmed case of coronavirus in South County.

State officials did not give the age of the resident in notifications, but many of the residents in the center are elderly.

A spokeswoman for St. Louis County said that the county is not commenting on individual cases. But the county Department of Public Health has reached out to every long-term care center in the county with information and questions about how prepared each center is to deal with coronavirus.

At the South County Habilitation Center, in addition to isolating the resident and the resident’s area, officials said they will be coordinating with the Office of Administration facilities and maintenance staff “for cleaning and disinfection in accordance with the State Workplace Closure and Cleaning protocols.”

Public visitation was already suspended at all Department of Mental Health facilities statewide due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The South County Habilitation Center is one of six state-run habilitation centers statewide.

“If you are identified as a potential contact of this person, you will be contacted by the St. Louis County Health Department,” the notification stated. “The St. Louis County Health Department requests that you do not contact them regarding this positive test result; they will contact you if that is appropriate.”

St. Louis County has not yet released its numbers of new positive cases for Sunday. The report is set to be released at 5:30 p.m.

So far, St. Louis County has had 291 total positive cases and two deaths as of Saturday’s numbers. It marked an increase of 70 positive cases from Friday.

The case adds to a growing number of cases in nursing homes or group homes in Missouri and St. Louis. Nationwide, nursing homes have been hit hard by cases of the rapidly spreading respiratory illness known as coronavirus or COVID-19, most notably when 37 residents of a Seattle-area nursing home died in the nation’s first outbreak.

At senior centers in the St. Louis region, so far at least 10 residents and six employees at five different facilities have tested positive for COVID-19.

At Life Care Center in St. Louis, four residents and two employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.

An employee of Frontier Health and Rehabilitation Center in St. Charles tested positive for COVID-19, the first of a total of four residents and two employees.

A resident and an employee of Anthology senior-living facility of Town and Country came down with the virus, with the resident testing positive Thursday. Senior-living facility Clarendale of St. Peters had an employee test positive.

A veteran living at the state-run veterans home in North County also tested positive.