Veterans Home battling COVID outbreak
7 deaths reported at Mt. Vernon facility
The Mt. Vernon Veterans Home is battling an outbreak of COVID-19, as 27 veterans and four staff were reported to have active cases on Oct. 3, and seven people have died.
From the first day that COVID-19 was detected in Missouri, the Veterans Homes implemented an extensive plan based on best practices to attempt to keep the virus out of our homes and protect our veterans, said Paul Kirchhoff, Missouri Veterans Commision Executive Director. This has included limiting access, setting up quarantine and isolation areas in advance, extensive use of personal protective equipment and increased cleaning and hygiene measures. We are concerned to see the heroes we care for dealing with this disease that is so virulent among the elderly and vulnerable populations.
As of Oct. 3, the following cases were reported at Veterans Homes:
Mt. Vernon Veterans Home, 27 veterans and 4 staff members
Cameron Veterans Home, 2 veterans (reported Oct. 1) and 2 staff members
Cape Girardeau Veterans Home, 57 veterans and 12 staff members
Mexico Veterans Home, 0 veterans and 0 staff members
St. James Veterans Home, 24 veterans and 9 staff members
St. Louis Veterans Home, 0 veterans and 2 staff members
Warrensburg Veterans Home, 12 veterans and 4 staff members
Until September, there had been a total of one death of a resident of a Veterans Home while there was an active COVID-19 case in a home. The one veteran death was at the St. Louis Home in April 2020. For the month of September, the following total deaths were reported at each home, indicated while there were known COVID-19 cases among veterans in the home. The number of deaths that were caused by COVID-19 is not known at this time.
Mt. Vernon Veterans Home - 7 total deaths reported
Cape Girardeau Veterans Home 21 total deaths reported
St. James Veterans Home - 10 total deaths reported
Warrensburg Veterans Home - 3 total deaths reported
In order to combat COVID-19 at our Cape Girardeau and St. James Homes, we have been successful in obtaining additional staffing and resources from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said Kirchhoff. MVC continues to perform robust testing with our staff and veterans and review our procedures to help mitigate the risks as much as possible.
The Mt. Vernon Veterans Home has 150 residents, and veterans and staff are tested for COVID weekly.
In response to the outbreaks, Gov. Mike Parson has 2,400 rapid tests shipped to the Missouri Veterans Commission, and more are coming.