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‘Respect it, it is a real thing’: Norton man’s uncle dies from COVID-19 in nursing home outbreak

Coronavirus in Kansas

NORTON, Kan. (KSNW) – The Norton County Health Department announced Monday that an outbreak of COVID-19 has occurred in a local privately-owned nursing home called the Andbe Home.

All 62 residents at the nursing home have tested positive for the coronavirus, out of the 62 residents, 10 have passed away, one is hospitalized, and the remaining 51 residents are being treated at the facility.

The Norton County Health Department shared news of this outbreak on its Facebook page.

The Norton County Health Department has been working with the Andbe Home, Norton County Hospital, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to contain this outbreak.

Back in May, the Department of Health and Human Service issued a deficiency report that the facility failed to implement the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended infection control practices to control and prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.

The Norton County Health Department said 51 residents are being treated at the facility and one patient has been hospitalized. Several staff members have also tested positive at the facility. The health department is working with the Andbe Home to control the outbreak by quarantining residents in rooms and not allowing outside visitors.

For Robert Brooks of Norton, the loss is personal. Brooks’ uncle was a resident of the Andbe Home and passed away Friday at the privately-owned long-term care facility.

“He already died at the Andbe Home alone with no family being able to visit him, no contact — it just perpetuates the aloneness,” Brooks said.

Brooks said he never had a chance to say goodbye to his uncle due to visitation restrictions.

Brooks, who is grieving the loss of his uncle, said, “It doesn’t seem fair for the end of life.”

He issued a coronavirus warning for others saying, “respect it, it is a real thing and people are really dying — just be aware of your situation and take the precautions needed.”

KSN reached out to both the Andbe Home and the Norton County Health Department, neither entity would talk about the coronavirus cases.

KSN looked into the safety record of the Andbe House and found several violations occurring in May. According to documents from the Department of Health and Human Services, this nursing home was cited for failing to implement COVID-19 policies. The citation said the nursing home “placed 63 residents in the facility in immediate jeopardy.” An inspection found staff said they did not receive training and they were not required to wear masks. The document goes onto say the nursing home implemented a COVID-19 policy the next day. KSN did not find any other violations after May of this year.

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services confirmed to KSN Tuesday that State surveyors visited the Andbe Home on Monday.

For the latest updates on COVID-19 cases in Kansas, click here

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