Grand Rapids Home for Veterans reports residents and staff with COVID-19

Posted at 6:26 PM, Dec 10, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Michigan Veterans Facilities Board says 45 residents and 16 staff members at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans have tested positive for COVID-19 since late November.

"We are still in the process of conducting an extensive contact tracing effort related to this increase in cases." Anne Zerbe, Executive Director, Michigan Veteran Homes wrote in a release sent to FOX 17. "This increase does correlate to an increased prevalence in the local community."

"We are continuing to update and enhance all of our risk mitigation efforts in light of the recent increase in cases at GRHV, including utilizing antigen point of care tests to more quickly identify asymptomatic individuals." Zerbe wrote of testing done since November 27th, adding the 450 staff at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans are tested twice a week.

The statement from the board says residents positive for COVID-19 were immediately moved to an isolation unit and contact tracing efforts begun in each case. Staff showing symptoms or testing positive were told to isolate at home and follow up with their doctor.

Since the pandemic started in Michigan, 6 veterans have died while positive with COVID-19, but the board did not specifically say the virus was the cause of death.

"The one reassurance we can offer at this time is that the vaccine is on its way and skilled nursing facilities, like ours, are slated to be some of the first to receive it." Zerbe writes. "We are working with our partners in the National Guard on the logistics of how we will administer it once it arrives. In the meantime we will remain vigilant in our fight against this virus and keep all of our partners informed regarding the activity at the Home.”