Missouri Veterans Home access restricted amid COVID-19 concerns

The Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau is seen April 20, 2018.
Kassi Jackson ~ Southeast Missourian

In a statement issued Sunday morning, The Missouri Veterans Commission announced it has begun restricting access to all seven of its homes in Missouri, including the one at 2400 Veterans Memorial Drive in Cape Girardeau, due to the spread of the new coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

The decision came less than a day after Gov. Mike Parson’s announcement of “presumptive positive” cases in St. Louis County and Johnson County, Kansas, and went into effect immediately.

According to the statement, the commission will “restrict access to visitors, vendors and volunteers” until further notice.

“We will encourage communication with your loved one daily,” the release stated. “Our staff will also assist those who want to “see” their loved ones using FaceTime or with other video methods”

More than 400 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the United States, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data updated Monday, which listed 322 of the reported cases as under investigation.

Washington state has seen the largest outbreak of the virus with 136 reported cases, according to CDC data Monday.

Twelve new COVID-19 cases were reported Sunday in Seattle and King County, Washington, bringing the total number of reported King County cases to 83 and the total number of reported deaths to 17, according to Monday’s updated data from the Seattle and King County public health department.

Of the 17 deaths reported by the Seattle and King County public health department, 16 are associated with Life Care Center of Kirkland, Washington, which was first linked to the coronavirus about a week ago.

Early information from the initial spread of COVID-19 in China shows older adults and people with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease are at higher risk of becoming “very sick” from the illness, according to the CDC.

Information from the CDC advises people at higher risk of becoming sick to stock up on supplies and take “everyday precautions” to keep space between yourself and others. When coming into contact with the public, the CDC advises those with higher risk factors to keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash hands often.

The other Missouri veterans homes are in Cameron, Mexico, Mount Vernon, St. James, St. Louis and Warrensburg.