Silver Bay Veterans Home Combating COVID Outbreak

The Silver Bay Veterans Home currently has 22 residents and staff COVID-19 positive. The facility has 83 residents in total.

SILVER BAY, Minn. – While veterans across America are being celebrated for their service on Veterans Day, others are now fighting a battle on the homefront, COVID-19.

The Silver Bay Veterans Home currently has 22 residents and staff COVID-19 positive. The facility has 83 residents in total.

“We really continue to honor and celebrate those that we are caring for,” says Simone Hogan, the Senior Director for Health Care at the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.

As the rate of community transmission in Lake County continues to grow, residents and staff are administered one test each week to help discover if anyone is asymptomatic but COVID positive.

With rising cases in the facility, no visitors are allowed in, so staff members are trying to have veterans remember a time when they also couldn’t see their families when they were deployed to help them make sense of the situation.

“We really have tried to draw on their military experience when they were deployed when they were celebrating the holidays without their families and draw on the strength that they had during that time to help teach us something too,” says Hogan.

When staff members are exposed to the virus, they are sent home to quarantine for two weeks and get tested.

Currently, the Silver Bay Veterans Home is not at a critical staffing level, but there are contingency plans if that ever becomes the case.

While the vets cannot see their families in-person, staff have been working hard to schedule virtual visits so they can at least speak to their loved ones.

The facility couldn’t host their normal Veterans Day ceremonies this year, but the staff says they are making sure the heroes know they are always appreciated.

“We did the very best we could to do that on a smaller scale as well as in a virtual way so families and communities could participate and extend our gratitude for the service of the veterans that live there,” says Hogan.

If community transmission rates continue to grow even further, Hogan says the facility might need to test residents and staff twice a week in the future.

 

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