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Local nursing home stays COVID-19 free, soon to reintroduce family visits

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MT. VERNON, Mo. — A nursing home in Mt. Vernon has kept its residents safe from COVID-19 despite the struggles several nursing homes around Missouri are facing.

None of the 150 residents at the Missouri Veteran’s Home have tested positive for the virus. Only three staff members have caught COVID-19, but they were quarantined.

The home’s communication director Jamie Melchert says the residents are social distancing, wearing personal protection equipment, and testing for the virus.

Staffers are given a daily health screen checks when they come into work and take their temperatures throughout the day. Veterans and staff are tested for COVID-19 once or twice a week.

Family members haven’t been allowed to be in the building to visit their loved ones since the pandemic began, but Melchert says that is about to change.

“We have started what we call hand holding stations,” said Melchert. “It allows for skin to skin contact. Actually hold the hand of the veteran. The family member schedules and appointment. Health screening precautions that have to take place prior to the visit. With both the veteran and the family member.”

The Missouri Veterans Commission has seven homes throughout Missouri.

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