ALABAMA, USA — This week the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) and Health Management Resources (HMR) completed a second round of testing for the COVID-19 virus at the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City. Since April 8, 91 residents of the home have tested positive for the virus.
After retesting residents, today there are 9 reported positive cases of the virus at the home compared to 40 positive cases from a week ago. This is a significant and promising downward trend.
Of the 41 employees that tested positive at the home,12 have returned to work. No residents at the state veterans homes in Bay Minette, Pell City and Huntsville have tested positive. Since April, 23 deaths at the Alex City home are attributed to the virus.
The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs is doing everything possible to mitigate the virus. We’re working closely with the Alabama Department of Public Health to begin universal testing of all employees and residents at the state’s four veterans homes when resources become available. The universal testing will help the department to identify potential asymptomatic cases, which is critical to preventing and reducing the transmission of the virus among employees and residents.
On March 12, ADVA and HMR, the healthcare provider for the state veterans homes, implemented a policy that restricted visitations at the homes to only staff, necessary external medical personnel, and immediate families of residents facing end-of-life situations, to control the exposure of the virus to employees and residents. The state veterans homes additionally began testing employees and residents that exhibited symptoms of the virus, and were among the first long-term skilled care facilities in the state to implement restrictive visitation and testing procedures in response to the pandemic.
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