BENNINGTON — A resident of the Vermont Veterans Home who had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month has died, the facility’s CEO Melissa Jackson said Wednesday.
The resident, who initially was displaying only mild symptoms, had met with his physician and expressed his wishes concerning a treatment plan, Jackson said, and those wishes were honored.
The infection was reported Jan. 8, roughly a week after regular COVID-19 testing of staff members had revealed a half dozen positive results in employees who had been asymptomatic. A total of eight staff members soon went into quarantine after positive tests.
Jackson said Wednesday that all have now been cleared to return to work.
The home also has been conducting daily Antigen, or rapid COVID tests for staff members, as well as twice-weekly standard PCR tests, she said.
A meeting with state Department of Health officials will be schedule soon, she said, to discuss next steps in response to the apparent end of the recent COVID outbreak. That could include a lessening of some of the restrictions that have been in effect.
Restrictions include having residents remain in their rooms, rather than coming out for meals or activities, and not allowing family visits.
In addition, Jackson said, vaccinations for residents and staff are well underway, with 95 residents and 117 staff members receiving a first of two COVID-19 shots and a second round of shots scheduled for Saturday.
She said a number of the approximately 200 staff members declined to have the vaccination in the first round, but some who initially did not receive it will get their first shots Saturday – bringing the total having at least one shot up to 139.
While there is no mandate that employees must be vaccinated for COVID-19, Jackson said there have been outreach and education efforts to encourage vaccination, and the medical staff is meeting with each employee who has not yet received the shot.
Six residents also have not received the vaccination, Jackson said, five who decline it and one who could not have it for medical reasons.