3 employees at Huntsville veterans home test positive for coronavirus

3 employees at Huntsville veterans home test positive for coronavirus
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Three employees at the Floyd “Tut” Fann State Veterans Home in Huntsville tested positive for coronavirus, the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs announced in a news release on Monday.

In the release, the department also confirmed cases among employees and residents at other veterans homes in the state.

The employees in Huntsville were tested last week. There were no positive cases among residents.

The home’s first case was announced on July 7.

You can read the department’s full news release on Monday below:

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) continues universal testing of the COVID-19 virus for all residents and employees at the state veterans homes. Following additional tests last week, medical officials report that that nine residents and seven employees at the William F. Green State Veterans Home in Bay Minette tested positive for the virus. The positive cases among residents are the first to be reported by the home.

Additional tests show that seven employees at the at the Colonel Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home in Pell City, three employees at the Floyd “Tut” Fann State Veterans Home in Huntsville, and four employees at the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City have tested positive for the virus. There were no positive cases of the virus among residents at the three homes.

“The need for continued universal testing at the state veterans homes is critical to reducing the risk of spreading the virus,” said ADVA Commissioner Kent Davis. “By continuing to test on a regular basis, we are in a better position to mitigate the spread of the virus in the homes if we can identify those asymptomatic carriers of the virus.”

The ADVA completed the first universal testing of all residents and employees at the veterans homes at the end of June. At that time, the tests showed that no residents were positive for the virus.

“The homes continue to treat the pandemic as pervasive and a very high risk. That is why we continue to use the same protective measures and will be doing so for the foreseeable future. Now is not the time to let our guard down. As Alabama has seen troubling numbers of new COVID-19 patients over the past few weeks, we need to be even more diligent,” Davis added.

The state veterans homes, as long-term care facilities, have in place protocols for infection prevention and control (IPC). In response to COVID-19, the homes expanded IPC based on guidelines for prevention, detection, and transmission of the virus. 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 and discontinued new admissions during the first week of April. In May, the homes began universal testing of all residents and employees.

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

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