Alabama state veterans home resident tests positive for COVID-19 virus

Coronavirus

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

UNEDITED PRESS RELEASE

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala –  The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) reports that a resident of the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.  This is the first reported case of a resident testing positive at a state veterans home in Alabama.

After the resident exhibited mild symptoms, the home immediately performed a COVID test in cooperation with a local laboratory provider and placed the resident on isolation precautions while awaiting results.

After learning of the resident’s positive test results, the home administrator notified the veteran’s family, Alabama Department of Public Health, Tallapoosa County Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  Families of residents at the home were notified as well.  Currently, the veteran’s symptoms are improving and the veteran continues to be cared for in isolation. 

On March 12, the ADVA and the state veterans home care provider, Health Management Resources (HMR), implemented a restrictive visitation policy at the state’s four veterans homes to control the exposure of the virus to employees and veteran residents.  The Alabama State Veterans Home staff have followed closely the recommendations from the CDC and public health agencies in their efforts to control exposure to the virus. 

The state veterans homes continue to follow protective measures for employees and residents by limiting entry into the homes to only employees, necessary external medical personnel, and immediate families of residents facing end-of-life situations.  The homes remain in communication with family members of residents to keep them informed on the well-being of their loved ones.

ADVA manages four veterans homes in Alexander City, Bay Minette, Huntsville and Pell City with a population of more than 700 veterans.  As of this release, there are no other positive cases in the other Alabama State Veterans Homes.

Information about ADVA’s veterans homes visitation policy and other precautionary measures the department is taking in its response to the COVID-19 crisis is posted to the department’s website at www.va.alabama.gov.

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