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News >  Spokane

9 more Spokane Veterans Home residents have COVID-19; all to be transferred to VA Medical Center

April 23, 2020 Updated Sat., April 25, 2020 at 1:28 p.m.

All COVID-19-positive residents of the Spokane Veterans Home will be transferred to Spokane’s Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, shown Aug. 9, 2018. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
All COVID-19-positive residents of the Spokane Veterans Home will be transferred to Spokane’s Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, shown Aug. 9, 2018. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane Veterans Home confirmed nine new COVID-19 cases on Thursday as it announced all residents with the disease would be transferred to the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center for care later this week.

The medical center has the capability to better isolate cases, offer daily rounds from physicians and provide access to an intensive care unit, according to the Washington state Department of Veteran Affairs.

The nursing home had 86 residents at the beginning of the month, and 34 have tested positive for the disease since April 7, including two who have died. Three were already hospitalized as of Tuesday.

Thirteen staff members have also tested positive for the disease. At least 115 have been tested, but the WDVA removed the number of negative tests for residents and staff from its website.

The facility’s first case at the end of March was an employee who was awaiting a COVID-19 test result and returned to work in the area of the home’s initial 19 cases after three days without symptoms.

The first resident death was reported on April 8 in a person who had been in end-of-life care before the diagnosis.

The nursing home’s current infected residents will receive care in the Spokane VA Medical Center’s COVID-19 unit, which was recently converted from a community living center, according to the WDVA.

The idea came after a VA Medical Center team visited the nursing home and reviewed a number of environmental challenges at the facility.

“We are grateful to our partners at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center and know that they are as passionate about serving Veterans as we are,” said Lourdes E. “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos, WDVA director, in a statement. “Following a visit by their specialists, it was clear that they are simply better equipped to treat COVID-19 positive residents with the infrastructure and staff resources available to the VA. It’s not important where our Veterans receive care, only that they receive the best possible care in the best possible environment.”

The only other WDVA nursing home with a case is the Walla Walla Veterans Home, which reported an employee tested positive on Wednesday, according to the WDVA. All residents have been tested, with no positives as of Thursday.

As of Thursday, all residents at the two other WDVA nursing homes in Orting and Port Orchard had also been tested, according to the WDVA. No residents or staff at those facilities have tested positive for COVID-19.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect that the Spokane Veterans Home had 86 residents at the beginning of April.

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