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COVID-19 outbreak at veterans home kills 1, 32 test positive

August 14, 2021 GMT

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — One resident has died and 32 residents and workers at the Washington Veterans Home at Retsil have been diagnosed with COVID-19, state officials said this week.

The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs announced the death in a letter to residents and their families, The Kitsap Sun reported.

No other information about the death was made available. But it comes as 24 residents and eight staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 since July 30.

State data shows that 97% of the residents are vaccinated. However, just 174 of a 334-person staff — or 52% — is vaccinated.

Gov. Jay Inslee has mandated vaccinations for all state workers by Oct. 18.

The outbreak comes as the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19 continues to sweep the state and nation.

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Heidi Audette, a spokeswoman for the veterans affairs department, said since July 30 two vaccine clinics have taken place at Retsil and they will continue to be offered.

All residents at Retsil have been tested every three to seven days, the facility said in a letter, and are “screened and monitored for symptoms regularly.” Staff are also tested every week and screened upon arriving to work.

The outbreak means in-person visits to Retsil are suspended the next two weeks, except for “compassionate care” visits. The staff will help facilitate virtual visits.

Residents will also receive meals in their rooms.