Positive cases down in Pratt County despite nursing home scare

Pratt Tribune staff
Pratt Tribune
Several postive cases of the novel coronavirus were identified at Pratt Health and Rehab, 1221 N. Larimer Street, in Pratt several weeks ago, but according to Pratt County Director of Public Health Darci Van Der Vyver, those numbers are coming down as testing and quaratine measures have been put into place. The exact numbers of staff or residents affected by COVID-19 was not made available to the public by the administration of the facility.

By the numbers, COVID-19 quarantine measures are working at Pratt Health and Rehab after several staff members and a couple of residents tested positive for the coronavirus two weeks ago. 

Pratt County Director of Public Health Darci Van Der Vyver said that  everyone in the facility at 1221 N. Larimer Street in Pratt had been tested after several positive cases from the facility were identified two weeks ago. Staff continue to test as required by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, she said. 

Repeated requests for information about exactly how many tests were positive for COVID-19 at the facility for staff or employees were not successful as Pratt Health and Rehab Administrator Linda Watson did not respond to repeated requests and did not return calls over a five-day period. No one else there was able to comment publicaly. Van Der Vyver said she did not feel it was prudent to release that information to the public.

Van Der Vyver did say that all positive test results were reported to the Kansas Health Environmental Laboratory. The KHEL has requirements for long term care facilities. 

“Pratt Health and Rehab is complying with all KHEL and KDHE procedures,” Van Der Vyver said. 

The Health Department does contact tracing on every positive case attributed to Pratt County, Van Der Vyver.

“We are working with Pratt Health and Rehab on proper quarantine procedures and those quarantine measures are working.” 

Van Der Vyver said as of July 30, the county has had 33 positive cases with 28 recovered and five active cases. There have been 752 tests that have come back negative. These are only Pratt County residents. Anyone who tests positive but is not from Pratt County is counted in that person’s home county, Van Der Vyver said. 

On Monday, August 3, the number of active cases dropped to only two, with 31 cases considered recovered.

Van Der Vyver said the county is only testing people who are displaying two coronavirus symptoms. A lot more people are getting tested so the number of positive cases is likely to go up, she said. Overall, Van Der Vyver said she is optimistic about the situation in Pratt County. 

“I feel we have it under control,” Van Der Vyver said. 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment website updates information at 12:30 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for every county. To get the latest on Pratt County, go to the KDHE website, click on the COVID-19 cases in Kansas link. Scroll down to the Kansas map and the total number of positive cases is listed. Scroll down to see previous updates. 

Recommended guidance to help stop the spread of COVID-19 cointinues to include: cover mouth and nose in public with a cloth face covering; stay at least 6 feet or 2 arms' length from others; wash hands often and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home; don't touch  eyes, nose or mouth; cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or tissue; and follow local government instructions to stay home or wear a mask when out in the public.

Pratt Health and Rehab is a healthcare and rehabilitative facility, dedicated to serving post-acute needs.