Ten residents have died from COVID-19 at a Norton County nursing home, county health officials said in a news release Monday night, with all 52 remaining residents infected with the virus.
One of the patients currently infected is hospitalized, with the remaining 51 being cared for at the facility, the privately owned Andbe Home in Norton.
The home has been working with Norton County Hospital, the local health department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to tackle the outbreak, the release said.
"Steps are being taken to prevent any further outbreak including quarantining residents in their rooms and not allowing outside visitors into the facility," the release said.
A Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services inspection in May sounded the alarm that the facility’s COVID-19 prevention planning "revealed lack of action and education to prevent the spread of COVID-19" within Andbe, although it appears the facility quickly addressed the deficiencies within 24 hours of the findings.
The CMS report noted that the facility wasn’t mandating that employees wear masks and that only a minority of workers were doing so in hallways and common areas.
"The facility staff lacked appropriate facemask covering for source control while in the facility, COVID-19 infection control staff education, and a COVID-19 policy to prevent the potential spread of the disease placing all 63 residents in he facility in immediate jeopardy," the CMS report said.
The outbreak at Andbe underscores the increase of cases statewide, most notably in northwest Kansas.
On Monday, KDHE reported 2,113 cases and 13 new deaths since Friday. The agency also reported 240 clusters associated with long-term care facilities, associated with over 3,500 COVID-19 cases.
Norton County is one of the northwest Kansas counties that have seen a sharp increase in infections.
While the area saw only a handful of cases in the early months of the pandemic, the last two weeks have each seen the county reporting over 140 cases each week. That puts its infection rate of 2,761 per 100,000 residents as one of the highest in the state.