County, CCC issue statement on COVID

Staff Writer
Chillicothe News
Chillicothe News

On Friday, officials with the Livingston County Health Center and Chillicothe Correctional Center (CCC) released a statement to clear misconceptions about COVID-19 counting and cases in Livingston County and the correctional center.

Sherry Weldon, administrator of the Livingston County Health Department said, “The health center bases its count on notifications from the Missouri Department of Health and

Senior Services. No cases are entered unless an official notification has been received. Contact

tracing is then done on each case to determine close contacts and instruct them to self-isolate for 14 days.”

As of Friday afternoon, the current count of positive cases in the county was 27, with eight active cases and 19 removed from isolation.

Chillicothe Correctional Center receives testing results through Corizon Health, which provides

nursing and healthcare services for inmates and offenders. Corizon staff then forwards the

positive notifications to the health center. Corrections officers and staff are added to the daily

count, while inmates are kept separately, due to being a population separate from the public.

Corizon and CCC staff do contact tracing of positive cases within the inmate population.

As of 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Deputy Warden of Operations Ryan Coffman reports the prison had received 189 positive notifications of COVID-19 in the inmate population and nine positives from staff. Staff members of CCC that live in the county are included in the Health Center count. Those that live in other counties are noted in their county of residence.

As a normal part of operations, CCC has been monitoring housing units for symptoms of COVID-19 then testing and isolating the entire unit in place, to contain the spread of the virus. Masks are now required everywhere in the facility where social distancing cannot be maintained. Other precautions such as disinfecting and routine screening are also being followed by the facility.

Weldon submitted two cluster reports of cases at CCC to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service. The State Department of Health & Senior Services and the Department of Corrections enter data on their individual dashboards, which are both available to the public. That information being added to the dashboard is often not in sync and has caused confusion.

“We just want the public to know that we take reporting the current situation of this virus in

Livingston County very seriously, and are working closely with the Correctional Center and Corizon Health to get a true picture of number of cases amongst the public and the prison population,” said Weldon.

On Monday afternoon, the Department of Corrections dashboard still showed 189 offenders with active cases of COVID-19 and nine staff members.

“Both local entities would like to encourage the public to continue mitigation strategies for preventing the spread of the virus such as wearing a mask in public, staying home when sick, frequent handwashing, avoiding crowds, limiting time spent with people outside their family and staying six feet away from other people,” the statement said.

Area COVID-19 testing statistics

On Monday, officials with St. Luke’s Health System released COVID-19 testing statistics for Hedrick Medical Center (HMC) and Wright Memorial Hospital along with the current criteria to be tested. Testing statistics as of the morning of July 20, are:

Hedrick has tested 1732 (1054 Livingston County residents, 215 from Grundy County, 47 from Mercer County, 416 from other counties);

Wright Memorial has tested 767 (516 from Grundy County, 127 from Mercer County, 17 from Livingston County, 107 from other counties); and

Hedrick and Wright Memorial combined – 2499

As of Monday morning, there were 27 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Livingston County.

Testing criteria

Hedrick Medical Center and Wright Memorial Hospital previously expanded drive-thru testing of COVID-19 to all residents in the region who met testing criteria and who were referred by a healthcare provider prior to arriving at the testing site.

For non-inpatient testing, individuals must have any new symptom, including but not limited to: fever of 100 degrees or higher; loss of smell or taste; cough; shortness of breath; diarrhea; sore throat or body aches

Two drive-up testing facilities are open. Wright Memorial Hospital opened a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at Green Hills Medical Clinic, located at 3300 E 10th Street in Trenton, in addition to a site in Chillicothe at the former Washington St. Food & Drink location, which has continued operating as well. The Trenton drive-thru clinic operates Monday through Friday, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. The Chillicothe site operates Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 is available to all residents in the region who meet testing criteria and who obtain a provider order from a health care provider prior to arriving at the testing site

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