The state’s four veterans homes so far have no confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Assistant Veterans Affairs Commissioner Bob Horton.
The homes have been virtually shut down as the threat from the coronavirus rose. The only visits now being allowed are “medically necessary visits by outside health care personnel and/or visits by family members to terminally ill residents in their final days,” the state Department of Veterans Affairs said in a news release.
“Routine visits by non-employees, to include work conducted by volunteers, have been temporarily suspended at the homes,” the department said.
Horton said employees at the homes “are screened daily for fever and other symptoms related to the cold and flu when reporting for work.
“Employees are not allowed to remain at the facilities or interact with residents if they exhibit such symptoms,” Horton added. “At the present time, no residents have shown symptoms that would suggest they may have contracted the coronavirus.”
Alabama nursing homes have been under such restrictions, as well. So far, four COVID-19 cases have been reported in the nursing homes, one in a Dothan home this week and previously two cases in two separate Jefferson County homes and one in the Wiregrass.
As of Monday, the state’s veterans homes – located in Alexander City, Bay Minette, Huntsville and Pell City – were housing 688 residents. Most of the residents ranged in age from 70 to 99. According to the World Health Organization, those over 60 years of age “are at a higher risk of getting severe COVID-19 disease.”