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Seven staff test positive for COVID at Iowa Veterans Home

The Iowa Veterans Home is reporting seven staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 this week and are on leave.

There are no active cases among residents at this time. IVH Commandant Timon Oujiri said all residents have been tested.

The first three positive tests were identified Monday. Oujiri said there had been occasional positives found in weekly testing prior to this.

The outbreak caused the IVH to postpone a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new courtyard scheduled for Wednesday.

“We know Marshalltown and Marshall County, a lot of people are exploding with positive rates,” Oujiri said. “We are being prudent to make sure we aren’t bringing it here.”

The staff members that tested positive will remain off duty for 14 days in accordance with CDC, IDPH and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services protocols. Household members are also being tested.

The most recent positive case in a resident was in August.

Oujiri said despite the positive cases, staff and residents are in good spirits.

“There’s no panic. We stay the course,” he said. “The staff is all professional. The veterans say, ‘We’ve been through worse.'”

The IDPH COVID-19 website also reports an outbreak at Southridge Specialty Care. According to the site there are nine cases. Southridge Specialty Care declined to comment.

There are 71 current outbreaks in long-term care facilities in Iowa. Long-term care facilities have been associated with 828 of the state’s COVID related deaths. In total 2,140 staff or residents of the facilities have tested positive and 889 have recovered.

Contact Joe Fisher at 641-753-6611 or jfisher@timesrepublican.com

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