Shawnee County Health leaders working to keep coronavirus out of long-term care facilities


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Shawnee County health leaders are working to keep coronavirus out of long-term care facilities.

Right now, there are 20 long-term care facilities in Topeka, according to the Shawnee County Health Department. That’s including nursing homes and places like rehabilitation services.

The health department’s Infectious Disease Division Manager Derik Flerlage said they are currently monitoring half of those facilities for coronavirus cases.

Many of the confirmed cases they’re seeing are from facility employees.

“They often work at more than one facility and they have to make ends meet as well. But really the main thing is that once one case pops up, it’s incredibly difficult to stop it or slow it down and we often see an exponential increase in cases,” Flerlage said.

There have been 58 deaths tied to long-term care facilities in Topeka. Flerlage said those people were older than 60 years old.

The health department is developing a task force to help find ways to mitigate the spread of the virus moving forward.

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