Reports says veterans recovered from COVID-19 outnumber deaths in one care facility
SALT LAKE CITY — According to a report released by the Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs (UDVMA) and Avalon Health Care, 19 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the William E. Christoffersen Salt Lake Veterans Home.
Out of the 51 people in the facility who have tested positive for COVID-19 since May 18, 13 have died as of June 26.
The difference between the two numbers is only 6 but the report also says the home has not had any residents test positive for COVID-19 since early June.
Officials from the home say this may be due in part to the COVID unit being physically separate from the main building. Also, the residents of the COVID unit have a staff dedicated s0lely to them.
A reason for optimism
“Every loss at the Salt Lake Veterans Home has been a tremendous loss to the residents,” UDVMA executive director Gary Harter said.
“I do want to celebrate the residents of our Salt Lake Veterans Home who have overcome this virus. Our residents are part of a tight-knit community of fellow veterans and staff, and we are all overjoyed to see these residents recover.
“We thank the staff who are on the front lines fighting this virus,” Harter said.
But the fight is still ahead of us, Harter said, and Utahns can honor veterans by remaining vigilant. “I urge Utahns to continue to follow public health guidelines to help limit the spread of this virus.
The best way for Utahns to thank our veterans for their service is to practice social distancing, stay home if you are feeling sick, wash your hands frequently and wear a mask when appropriate.”
Avalon Health Care said in a statement, “While a single lost life is one too many, there is also reason for optimism. This is highlighted by the fact that 19 residents of the Salt Lake Veterans Home have now recovered from COVID-19. This is not only a testament to their strength and bravery, but to the caregivers who continue to stand by their side.”
Health care staff recoveries
The UDVMA report says that the Avalon Health Care staff workers are screened before entering a veteran health care facility and sent home if they report any COVID-19 symptoms. Still, 29 staff members have tested positive since May 20.
As of June 26, four of the 29 Avalon Health Care staff members that tested positive for the virus have recovered from COVID-19.
The report says, Utah’s other three veterans homes, the George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home, Mervyn Sharp Bennion Central Utah Veterans Home and the Southern Utah Veterans Home have not reported any COVID-19 cases.
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How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus
COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
- If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
- Get a flu shot.
Resources for more information:
State of Utah: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization
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