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Two cases of COVID-19 confirmed at Veterans Home

T-R FILE PHOTO Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among staff members at the Iowa Veterans Home. Protocol from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control are being followed to ensure the safety of residents and staff at the Veterans Home.

Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at the Iowa Veterans Home.

Commandant Timon Oujiri said the second case is a staff member who has not been at the veterans home since March 17.

“The symptoms showed up after they got home and they have not been here for 12 days,” he said.

The first case is a staff member who did not come into contact with residents.

Oujiri said some residents have been tested for the coronavirus and all have come back negative. He said IVH is following protocol established by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

Some examples of action being taken to protect the veterans is every staff member is screened every day for symptoms.

“Anybody with any of those symptoms are sent home immediately,” Oujiri said.

The Iowa Veterans Home also ceased all visitation two weeks ago. Deliveries are limited to one area. There is no possibility of cross leveling as staff and residents are staying in their respective units.

If residents do develop symptoms, Oujiri said they will be isolated in their room. Right now, the residents are staying in their rooms anyway. However, they sit in their doorways to converse with one another and play BINGO.

An area on the Iowa Veterans Home campus has been set up for further isolation if a resident does develop COVID-19.

Even though the virus has been confirmed at the Veterans Home, Oujiri said people are confident the situation is under control.

“This is stressful but morale is good,” he said. “The staff are doing a fantastic job.”

Oujiri highly praised the staff members at the Veterans Home, saying they could not be more careful or professional during this time.

“They are keeping up with sanitation and deep cleaning,” he said. “The staff has been wonderful. They are doing their best to keep it at bay and I am confident there will be minimal exposure. I can’t stress enough how great the staff is. They are stepping up and volunteering for extra shifts if someone has to go home. They are working staggered shifts. The public can rest assured that the staff at the Iowa Veterans Home – the largest nursing home in Iowa – are doing a great job and they are just fantastic. I could not be more proud of them. “

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