Six residents of Spring River Christian Village in Joplin have now died, with COVID-19 listed as a "significant condition contributing" in each case, according to the Joplin Health Department.

Four deaths announced Thursday were women aged 91, 84, 81 and 76. The Joplin Health Department on June 25 announced two deaths at Spring River Christian Village — the first two COVID-19 deaths for the city. Both were women, one aged 73 and the other aged 87.

According to the city, management at Spring River Christian Village, 201 Northpark Lane, "has been working closely with the Joplin Health Department, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Section for Long-Term Care and recently had all their staff and residents tested for the virus. The situation continues to be monitored closely."

The first positive case of COVID-19 at Spring River Christian Village — a resident — was reported June 16. As a result, Spring River tested all residents and employees that day and retested again a week later. On Wednesday, Spring River Christian Village said in a statement that 44 residents and 26 employees had tested positive so far. It also said that of the 44 residents, 37 were then being cared for at Spring River, one had been hospitalized and another left the nursing home, according to the company’s statement.

No residents were listed as recovered on Wednesday, but eight workers are listed as recovered. In the statement, Spring River Christian Village also said all associates exhibiting symptoms or testing positive are not allowed to return to the campus until they show negative results from two separate tests.

In Wednesday’s statement, the company also said, “On June 25, a focused CMS (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services) infection control survey was conducted by the (Missouri) Department of Health and Senior Services. The results found Spring River to be deficiency-free and in compliance with all infection control measures. Spring River has been proactive in implementing all of the recommended practices and procedures provided by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for long-term care facilities to control the spread” of COVID-19.

Ray Dickison, chief operating officer for Christian Horizons, told the Globe in an earlier interview that Spring River Christian Village has been working to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19. Spring River Christian Village is part of the nonprofit Christian Horizons family.

“We are certainly following all the CDC guidelines and any state guidance,” he told the Globe.

The company said it also is keeping residents, family members, associates and local public health officials informed.

“Christian Horizons is doing everything we can to ensure we stop the spread of this within our communities,” Dickison said in a previous statement. “We are in close communication with the local and state health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps currently. We have now expanded our dedicated units for infection prevention, initiated dedicated staff with enhanced training in COVID caregiving, enhanced cleaning protocols and management of personal protective equipment and supplies. We have advanced clinical team support with 24/7 telehealth monitoring capabilities for immediate assessment and management of treatment interventions.”

Dickison said the skilled nursing center has maintained the “strict no-visit policy, only essential (personnel)” since it was required earlier this spring. The company said it also has plans in place to conduct periodic testing of all residents and employees at Spring River.

In making the announcement Thursday, the Joplin Health Department called on residents to help prevent the spread of the disease by following these guidelines:

• If going out in public or if attending a social gathering, practice social distancing of 6 feet or more.

• If social distancing is compromised, wear a mask.

• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

• Stay home if sick.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Andy Ostmeyer is the metro editor at the Globe. His email address is

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