KCMO monitoring COVID-19 outbreak at Northland facility

Posted at 5:33 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-23 13:03:57-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas and health department officials said Thursday they are monitoring a COVID-19 outbreak at a Northland senior living facility.

Lucas said health officials are monitoring a total of six people, five residents and one staff member, who have tested positive at the McCrite Plaza in Briarcliff.

A number of those who tested positive were asymptomatic.

Lucas said a total of 80 people live at the facility.

City leaders said they are continuing to test residents at the facility. Lucas said it was not clear how far the outbreak had spread in the facility itself and in the community outside.

“It’s still not 100 percent safe out there,” Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department’s Dr. Rex Archer said.

Lucas and Archer highlighted the fact that residents in the facility represented some of those most at risk for COVID-19 complications.

They asked KMCO residents to continue (or start) wearing masks to protect those who are more vulnerable.

Archer, citing recent studies, said as many as 40 percent of people who have the virus are asymptomatic.

Wearing a mask can help prevent asymptomatic carriers from spreading the virus.

The city is monitoring several clusters in addition to the one at McCrite, including cases from the Triumph Foods outbreak in St. Joseph. More than 100 employees commute to the plant from KCMO, according to the city.

In his remarks, Lucas said his staff had originally planned to release later this week additional guidelines for the city’s restaurants to reopen on May 15. The city is continuing to evaluate that reopening date.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story said officials were monitoring 11 people (seven residents and four staff members). McCrite Plaza clarified that 11 is the total number of cases they have seen over two months, not the current number.