5 COVID-19 Deaths Reported at Silver Bay Veterans Home

SILVER BAY, Minn.– Five residents from the Silver Bay Veterans Home have died due to COVID-19 in the last week. This comes as cases rise around the state and impact areas like Lake County that have avoided a rise in cases until now.

The five deaths come after the veterans home suffered an outbreak last week that led to 38 cases among residents and staff. Overall, 83 residents live at the facility.

“All veterans who passed had either family or staff present at that time. They were at their bedside and no one died alone,” said Simone Hogan, Senior Director of Veterans Health Care for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.

An honor ceremony was held for each of the residents. It included a prayer, short words from staff and a flag folding to pay tribute to their service.

More Veterans Affairs personnel were deployed to silver bay last week to provide additional assistance making multiple visits daily to sick residents.

“Our medical director is doing rounds every day on those residents that have tested positive for COVID,” said Hogan. “What we see is that the decline comes very, very quickly, sometimes within hours.”

Healthcare workers from other veterans homes around the state have also been deployed to help manage the outbreak.

While the rising amount of cases in Lake County and some quarantined staff are putting strain on the facility officials say they are still able to take care of residents who have served our country.

“The facility is approaching critical staffing levels but we’re not there at this time. We’re monitoring that every day, sometimes every shift,” said Hogan.

Leadership at the veteran’s home says if they become more overwhelmed, they will have to contact the statewide emergency operation center to request further support.

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