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Missouri Veterans Home restricting access to visitors, vendors, volunteers

Updated: Mar. 8, 2020 at 11:37 AM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Missouri Veterans Commission announced on March 8 its restricting access to visitors, vendors and volunteers until further notice.

The restriction includes the veterans home in Cape Girardeau.

Jamie Melchert with the veterans commission said the measure comes in direct response to the announcement that Missouri is testing its first possible case of COVID-19.

As announced on the evening of Saturday, March 7, 2020 by Governor Mike Parson, there is a “presumptive positive” case...

Posted by Missouri Veterans Home - Cape Girardeau on Sunday, March 8, 2020

Currently, no veterans, nor any staff members, have expressed any signs of illness related to the coronavirus, according to Melchert.

The commission is also cancelling any outside activities, like trips to sporting events. Melchert said staff will increase activities inside the homes.

Melchert said this is a temporary precaution to keep veterans as healthy as possible.

“Because of their age they are the most susceptible to having the worst type of effects if they were exposed to COVID-19, so we don’t want to expose our veterans to the illness,” Melchert said.

Melchert said the commission has been planning many weeks in the event that the veterans’ homes need to take extra precautions.

"It's just prudent and we want to give our veterans a fighting chance, every chance they can get to avoid getting in contact with this particular virus," Melchert said.

According to Melchert, the idea is not to cut off communication with the veterans.

The veterans commission is encouraging people to still contact their loved ones daily.

Staff at the veterans home are happy to set up a Facetime or other video chats.

"We are more than happy to make those arrangements," Melchert said. "That's one technology that we didn't have in the past that we're happy to utilize so people can still be in touch and actually see their loved ones on a timely basis."

The veteran homes take similar precautions to fight the flu.

“Because even the flu can be detrimental to an older person’s health but given the severity of this disease we are just taking extra precautions,” Melchert said.

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