23 deaths reported at Alexander City veterans home

Coronavirus

(Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs photo)

TALLAPOOSA COUNTY, Ala. – There are 41 active cases and 23 deaths attributed to COVID-19 at an Alexander City veterans home, the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs said Tuesday.

The Bill Nichols State Veterans Home has had two reviews conducted that show all health guidelines have been followed and preventive measures have been taken, VA spokesman Bob Horton said in an email Tuesday. Those reviews were conducted by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, he said.

The Alabama National Guard sent a task force April 18 to disinfect the home, Horton said, and the unit has provided support at the state’s three other veterans homes.

The deaths at Nichols, located in Tallapoosa County, account for almost half of that county’s total deaths from the virus. As of midday Tuesday, the county had seen 50 deaths and 329 cases of the disease.

Three employees at the William F. Green State Veterans Home in Bay Minette tested positive in April for the virus and have since returned to work, Horton said.

There have been no reports of positive virus tests in residents at the state’s veterans homes in Bay Minette, Huntsville or Pell City, according to Horton.

Entry into all four veterans homes has been restricted since March 12 to staff, necessary medical personnel and family members of residents in end-of-life situations, Horton said.

Residents who test positive for COVID-19 are moved to isolation areas in the homes for care and treatment, Horton said, and employees who show symptoms are not allowed into the facilities.

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