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COVID-19

News >  Spokane

No new COVID-19 positives at Spokane Veterans Home as hospital transfers continue; new Spokane County cases rise by 8

UPDATED: Sat., April 25, 2020

Patients are transferred out of the Spokane Veterans Home at 222 East 5th Ave to more advanced Covid-19 care unit at the VA Hospital at 4815 North Assembly Street on Saturday, April 25, 2020, in Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Patients are transferred out of the Spokane Veterans Home at 222 East 5th Ave to more advanced Covid-19 care unit at the VA Hospital at 4815 North Assembly Street on Saturday, April 25, 2020, in Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane Veterans Home reported no new cases of COVID-19 Saturday as the transfer of more than a third of its residents to the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center continued.

The count for Spokane County’s largest cluster of cases stood at 35 residents, including two deaths, and 13 employees as of Saturday morning, according to the Washington Department of Veteran Affairs. Each of the nursing home’s 80-some residents have been tested, along with 116 employees.

As a whole, Spokane County confirmed eight new cases Saturday for a total of 346, according to the Spokane Regional Health District. No deaths were reported in Spokane County on Saturday as the death toll remained at 19.

None of the new cases is at the Spokane Veterans Home, according to Heidi Iyall, a health district spokesperson.

The transfers of Veterans Home residents confirmed to have COVID-19 began Friday and will continue through Monday, according to Heidi Audette, a state Veterans Affairs spokeswoman. Spokane’s VA Medical Center modified a community living center into a dedicated COVID-19 unit to provide around-the-clock care.

For weeks, the Spokane Veterans Home was the only state Veterans Affairs nursing home with confirmed cases. The first was at the end of March when an employee who was awaiting a COVID-19 test result returned to work on the floor where the first 19 cases were confirmed. The employee had gone three days without symptoms.

Eight days later, the facility reported its first two resident cases – roommates who had been cared for by the asymptomatic employee. The next day one of them, who had been in end-of life care before the diagnosis, died from COVID-19.

A second Spokane Veterans Home resident died Tuesday. Ten more cases were confirmed by Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Walla Walla Veterans Home reported its first case in an employee. On Friday, a resident without symptoms at the Washington Soldiers Home in Orting tested positive.

The Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard – the largest of the four nursing homes with more than 220 residents – has reported no cases.

In Spokane, a total of seven nursing homes and long-term care facilities have reported COVID-19 cases, but local public health officials are not naming them due to privacy concerns, according to Iyall. Three adult family homes also have cases.

Facilities that have announced cases in residents include Fairwood Northridge LLC in north Spokane, the Cheney Care Center nursing home and Brookdale Nine Mile. Rockwood Hawthorne reported a case in March in an employee.

Washington reported just more than 13,300 cases and 738 deaths statewide Saturday, according to the state health department. Those were increases of 327 cases and 15 deaths.

Kootenai County reported no new cases for the second day in a row Saturday, according to the Panhandle Health District. Kootenai County’s total stood at 59, while Bonner County’s was at four.

Idaho confirmed 10 news cases Saturday for a total of 1,760, according to the state’s health department. Fifty-six people have died and nearly 940 have recovered.

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