Unedited News Release:
PELL CITY, Ala. (WKRG) – The Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home in Pell City confirmed on Friday that three residents had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. After a round of tests this week for each of the home’s 220 residents, the positive cases among residents were the first the home has reported since the first positive case of the virus was reported in the state back in March. Ten employees at the home have tested positive since July.
“Much like the private nursing homes in Alabama, the state’s four veterans homes have the most vulnerable and high risk population,” said Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Kent Davis. “Over the past five months we have followed precautionary guidelines and taken appropriate measures such as universal testing, restrictions on outside visitors, meticulous screening of residents and staff, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and other safe medical practices.”
Employees and residents who experience symptoms and anyone who may have a potential exposure through outside medical appointments or community exposure are tested and quarantined. The home’s healthcare provider, Health Management Resources of Alabama, LLC, is testing each resident at the state’s four veterans homes weekly as a way to reduce the risk of spreading the virus by identifying and isolating asymptomatic cases.
The veterans homes are working closely with the Alabama Department of Public Health, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on all reported positive cases.
More information about ADVA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is posted to the department’s website at www.va.alabama.gov.
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