CORONAVIRUS

3 employees test positive for coronavirus at Iowa Veterans Home

The Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. (image via IVH's Web site)
The Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. (image via IVH’s Web site)

DES MOINES —Three employees of the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown have tested positive for COVID-19, facility officials announced Tuesday evening.

The disclosure followed a statement from Danny Homan, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 61, that blasted the state’s handling of positive test of an employee.

Officials at the 500-bed facility said in a new release that it is following health care protocols.

They said 25 residents have been tested for the novel coronavirus. Twenty-four of the tests were negative, with one pending.

Of the 25 staff members tested, three were positive, 18 negative, and four pending.

The three employees who tested positive are off work and recovering, the news release said. They each worked in different areas of the facility and had no contact with each other, officials said.

But Homan, referring to an employee who tested positive last week, said “every person that came into contact with that worker could be carrying the virus, even without displaying symptoms, putting veterans and other employees at risk.

“And just today, employees who had worked with the person who tested positive for COVID-19, were told that they had to continue working, even though they were exposed, because they were essential employees,” said Homan, adding one employee had a doctor’s advice to self-quarantine.

“This is wrong, and their actions are putting too many at risk,” Homan said. “The veterans receiving care are considered vulnerable, and without a reasonable plan in place to minimize their risk of exposure, their health and safety are endangered.”

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Officials at the facility said all staff who directly care for veterans are wearing a surgical mask and shield.

Also, the facility has an isolation unit that can care for up to 14 residents, if the need arises.

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