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One death reported after COVID outbreak at Hastings veterans home

Though a majority of the positive COVID cases have been mild, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Veterans Home in Hastings confirmed one person has died.

HASTINGS, Minn. — Editor's note: The video above first aired on KARE 11 on Oct. 9, 2022.

A local veterans home says a COVID-19 outbreak has infected more than 80 residents and staff.

According to a statement from the Minnesota Veterans Home in Hastings, this is the first COVID outbreak at the home since the start of the pandemic.

Though a majority of positive cases have been mild, one person has died, the home said. Antiviral COVID medications have been administered when medically appropriate.

"We have been working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs throughout this outbreak. All necessary infection prevention precautions have been and continue to be in place, and as a result, the case count continues to decrease daily," a representative with the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs said in a statement to KARE 11.

According to the MDVA, residents have been isolating in their rooms and have had their meals delivered according to individual preferences. Visitors are being encouraged to reschedule visits if possible, but are still allowed inside the building.

As of Oct. 20, 95% of residents have their initial COVID vaccine series and booster shots. At the time of the outbreak, the home was in the process of coordinating a bivalent booster and flu vaccine clinic, the VA said.

By Friday, Oct. 21, the home expects the current case count will be less than 20.

The home, which has 145 beds, currently provides domiciliary care for 111 veterans and employs 82 staff members.

As of Thursday, Oct. 20, the state of Minnesota has reported 1,680,916 positive COVID-19 cases. However, with the increase in at-home testing, those numbers could actually be higher.

Doctors say prepare for a rise in cases as people head indoors for the colder winter months.

"This virus like so many has ups and downs and so we are going to see it move through the community and its going to affect different places at different times," said Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn, an Internal Medicine doctor with HCMC. She went on to say, "whether it's a new variant or ones that are existing, will drive how much protection we all have against that form of the virus that moves through."


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