Newly reported death linked to Meadowlark COVID outbreak

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Riley County has reported a new COVID-19 related death stemming from the Meadowlark Hills outbreak.

According to a Thursday release, an 80-year-old man who tested positive for the novel coronavirus has died. The outbreak identified on July 17th has resulted in 8 positive COVID tests out of 80 tested residents and staff. This is the first death associated with the nursing facility.

“I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones,” Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs writes in a public release. “We know the loss of a loved one is a painful experience and our hearts are with you. Our community has worked together to slow the spread of coronavirus and I ask all of you to please continue to take precautions so we can help prevent further tragedy.”

More details on the individual’s identify or health conditions have not been released. The outbreak was centered at a memory care unit at the not-for-profit retirement community.

Meadowlark officials say they’ve long followed guidelines from federal, state and local sources. In a release, Community Relations Director Sarah Duggan says they are ‘deeply saddened’ by the news and appreciate the support received from the local community.

“Nursing home residents are at an incredibly high risk when faced with the novel coronavirus and the frailest of those are at the greatest risk,” Duggan writes. “Other individuals who were positive in relation to the July 17 report have since tested negative and the individuals who displayed symptoms are improving.”

Additionally, the county reported 4 new positive tests and 1 recovery since Wednesday. That makes 103 active cases, 337 reported recoveries and 5 deaths out of 445 confirmed cases dating to March. 4 positive patients are receiving care at Manhattan’s Ascension Via Christi Hospital, none are on a ventilator. An additional 162 cases are pending and more than 4,300 tests have come back negative.

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